Friday, March 28, 2008

Camden Aquarium

Thursday we took a trip to the aquarium in Camden. My parents only live 4 blocks from the Riverline Train that has a stop at the aquarium, so instead of driving, we took that. The kids ride free and adult tickets are $1.35 one way. The train was a big hit with all the kids and adults. The aquarium was a big hit too. Olivia really didn't like anything ugly, the eels really freaked her out. Garrett had no fear and was ready to hold a baby crock, if he was allowed, which thankfully, he wasn't. Esther liked all the touching pools, where you could touch a shark, sting-ray, and star fish, but only because she wanted to splash in the water.

The kids in front of one of the tanks of fish.

The highlight of the trip was the new baby hippo, Buttons, and his mom. When we got to their tank, we thought it was all fish. However, as we moved around, we saw two rock-like mounds in the water that we quickly found out were hippos. We showed the kids the backs of them, I don't think they really understood what they were, until they moved. Buttons decided to put on a show and swim circles in the tank. Soon after, mom followed and began swimming and spinning all over the place, making sure to swim right up to the front of the glass and look us straight in the eye. I think we all could have stayed there all day!

Waiting for the train. Daddy was keeping Garrett and Esther warm in his fleece. We were calling them the three-headed monster, so Garrett was making mean faces.

Mommy and Gideon waiting for the train.

Avery waiting for the train.

Fun with Avery

One of the best parts of visiting New Jersey is getting to spend time with family, especially Avery. She is so much fun and adorable too! Olivia and Esther really like to "Mother" her, which she tolerates fairly well. Here's some of the fun we're having so far.

The kids in their matching frog PJ's.
Look at those beauties!

This is the kids looking out the front door at Mr. Softie, the ice cream truck that drives though the neighborhood. Avery can't quite squeeze her way through, it won't be long until she's knocking them over!

Olivia and Avery playing their favorite game, Snood. Avery likes to watch it before she goes to sleep and Olivia has gotten really good at playing it.

Esther and Avery sharing the car. Sharing isn't something either of them have learned yet, so it's been interesting to see them interact.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

This One's for J

J, sorry that this is so short and that there's not that much action, but our memory card is a little small, so we can't do anymore than 20 seconds at a time. The action was a lot better before this, but I didn't get there in time. This is when they are getting a little winded.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter and More

We traveled all day after church on Easter Sunday and made it to New Jersey in just under 12 hours. The roads were a little busier than normal, but it didn't stop us from making great time. The kids and dog did great in the car, we really are blessed to have such great travelers. Here's some highlights so far.The kids Easter morning. Getting the kids ready by myself on Sunday mornings is always a challenge, but Sunday went extremely well! We had been emphasizing to the kids what Easter was about and when we asked them this Sunday morning they both screamed, "Jesus is ALIVE!"

In New Jersey we are enjoying nice spring weather and able to play outside for long amounts of time without gloves, or boots, or sometimes, even coats!! Here's Esther and Aunt Ange on the swing.

Jersey was able to meet her cousin Hugo (my sister Corrie's dog). They hit it off right away. Here they are playing outside.

Here they are chillin' inside. Don't be fooled by their relaxed positions, Josh had to sit them down and quick take the picture. They WOULDN'T stop playing unless we physically stopped them. However, by the end of yesterday Hugo didn't want anything to do with our slightly higher energy dog.

Gideon with his Aunt Corrie

More fun from New Jersey to come later!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Garrett's photography

Garrett asked to take pictures by himself the other day and this is what he did. I think he did a pretty good job.




Daddy and Esther

Olivia smiling for the camera without ever taking her eyes off the TV. Who said kids can't do two things at once?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Garrett turns 4

I can hardly believe that my "biggie" is now 4 years old. You brings such laughter and smiles to our faces. You are a good reminder of what not to say - because even when I think you're not listening, you are, and will eventually repeat it. You're good for a tough wrestling match where anything goes - your favorite tackle move right now is to hang off of daddy's neck with anything you can. It's a little painful for Daddy, but hilarious to watch. You are always good for a random, "I love you mom." You are learning the skill of self-control, when what you really want to do is rage. You are such a detail guy, that a coloring page takes you forever because you take such care to color everything in perfectly. And after five minutes of that, you turn the page because you can't stay on any one task too long. You loves having Gideon to sleep with in your room. You love playing with Olivia. And you love to antagonize Esther. I love you buddy - you will always be my "biggie." Here's looking back over the last 4 years.

Garrett, one day old, coming home from the birthing center.

Garrett (with the bib) and cousin Micah - one year old.

Garrett - 2 1/2 years old.

Garrett on his 3rd birthday last year. He ended up getting really sick the night of his birthday. That's the reason for the stoned look on his face.

Garrett, too cool for a portrait this year. You get the message.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Litttle Miss Helpful

The kids are really into the new show on Cartoon Network called "The Mr. Men Show." All the characters names are adjectives describing their mood and/or personality. I remember reading books with some of the characters when I was a kid, like Mr. Happy, Mr. Grumpy and Little Miss Chatterbox. Olivia likes to call herself Miss Chatterbox, which she is. However, lately she's been Little Miss Helpful, often and without being asked. I was in the middle of dressing Gideon this morning and was detained momentarily (probably by the two year old needing to potty) and when I returned Olivia was halfway through dressing him - all by herself.

Olivia doing a job not may kids would want to do - holding the poop bag for daddy while he picked up the mine field of poop we found in our backyard when the snow melted.

Olivia and Esther "Spider swinging" in the back yard this morning. Olivia got her up there all by herself and spun her around for a long time, so sweet. It makes me so happy to see the girls getting along so well. The kids have all been getting along well lately. The two who fight the most, Garrett and Esther were walking hand in hand in the church parking lot the other day - a sight to behold. I pray my children will live in peace with each other as they grow and appreciate and value their God- given differences.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Olivia walks Jersey

This is a picture of Garrett's squishy lizard. The kids had fun sticking it to the ceiling and Jersey had fun trying to catch it when it fell off. Garrett really liked his squishy lizard, until it disappeared. No one knew it was missing. . .until Josh came home from a walk with Jersey. . .

Josh: "Have you seen Garrett's lizard lately?"
Jess: "No, why?"
Josh: "Jersey just pooped it out on our walk."
Jess: "Really! How could you tell?"
Josh: "It was whole."
Jess: "What?!? That's crazy!"

She must have a really good digestive system - hopefully everything she eats from the house will come back out.

This is Olivia showing her "pack leader" walk with Jersey. I think she does a better job than me!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


The most popular song in our house right now is Steven Curtis Chapman's "Cinderella." Olivia really liked it the first time she heard it, but told me the other day that she didn't like it anymore because it was a princess, not a a daughter and her daddy. I explained to her what the song was about, but she didn't say anything. This evening Josh danced with Esther to the song when it came on the radio, it brought tears to my eyes. I would have had a picture, but our camera needs batteries - darn it! Josh almost always cries when he listens to it. Just click on the title below to listen. You better grab a tissue!