Friday, June 28, 2013

The farm

We went to the farm today!
Kyle was trying to encourage Witten to hurry up.
 With 13 children in 13 car seats dispersed amongst 5 cars, most of our regular playgroup headed to my in-laws' dairy to pet goats, ride ponies, and eat a picnic.
Noah took some coaxing to get on a pony. They were such sweet ponies, too! I want one!
 Sias and Marlene asked a friend of theirs who shoes horses for a living if she would bring out some of her tamest ponies for the toddlers to ride, and she kindly agreed!
This is Polka Dot the mommy pony.
 Every willing child got to ride the ponies as many times as they wanted. Even cousin Bear got to "ride" for a while. Honestly, I think Witten enjoyed it more than Noah.
Ride little horsey! And yes, that's a baby pony next to the mommy pony. It was as sweet and pet-able as a puppy. I almost tried to sneak it home in the minivan.
 The goat herd was resting right on the other side of the fence where we were eating lunch. The kids loved them!
Kyle could contain his excitement!
It was very warm, indeed, but I believe everyone who went had fun. And all the mommies got to take home a free bar of goats milk soap. Many of them also bought a fresh gallon of milk. (Cow's milk, not goat milk) I got a half-pint of cream. Just straight-up cream. If anyone knows what to do with cream of cow, please let me know!
  Now, I must rest. That trip took a lot outa me!
Be blessed, readers!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just so you know that I'm alive-

We went to the zoo this morning with the Skinners and the Hydes, minus the daddies. It was very muggy and fun, and quite a bittersweet time for all. You see, the Hydes are heading up to Wichita Falls in 6 days to start a new page in life. They've only been here for around 2 years, yet they have become close friends to us. Most touching of all is how close Wyatt and Noah are.
   Since the get-go, Noah and Wyatt were best buds.
This was their first meeting.
 Anyone can easily tell that Noah and Wyatt are best friends. Noah gets excited just thinking about seeing Wyatt. Considering how much Noah loves his little buddy, I can tell that this is going to be a hard separation.
Their last outing to the zoo.
  Meredith and Rob will also be sincerely missed by many folks in the Tyler area. I hate that they have to move, but it's been made very clear that Wichita Falls is where God wants them, so you can't argue that. I do hope and pray that the distance will not extinguish the friendship our families have formed, 'cause it's a good one.
   All that to say, we will miss you, Hydes. Please don't be a stranger! And also, be open to spontaneous visits. I foresee a few in our futures. Most of all, may God bless all of you richly in this next stage of life you are entering. I sure will miss you guys.

  Now, to plan 6 more days of action-packed fun!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Prepare for words.

Stephan is at basketball practice. That makes me smile. He joined our church's brand new team that plays in a city-wide church league. Assuming the best, the Sylvania team charged the court for their first game last week and were handed a powerful loss by a team of super-ninja ballers. After this loss, and in looking at their future competition, the team decided that it might be best for them to start weekly team practices. I love it that Stephan is doing this. He deserves some manly, down-time activity. Also, I really want to watch him play!
 While I was driving my boys home from the Skinners tonight, I glanced behind me to see that Noah was out cold. As I've mentioned before, Noah has decided he doesn't need naps. (I was hoping for at least 2 more years of regular afternoon naps, but alas...) Well, a combination of no napping and intense wrestle mania reenacting with Lydia wore him slap out, and he was asleep in the car at 7:00. As I was glancing back at my sleepy big boy, I see Witten staring at his brother with a goofy smile on his face. Then, Witten looked at me, pointed at Noah, and, holding a chubby finger over his mouth, shushed me very loudly and with a lot of spittle. I laughed very hard. These boys wear me out daily, but there are so many moments of superseding joy and love with these two that I never ever regret my situation or long for another life.
  I wrote in an earlier post about Sias Du Toit's health scare. Now that the best has happened and the trouble has passed (praise God forever!), I can share the extent of this health scare. Sias' tumor was cancerous. Stephan's father had cancer. I say "had", because the doctors removed the tumor and a lymph node gland and checked the gland for cancer as well. The lymph node came back clean. Sias was, and is, completely cancer-free. He's also lost upwards of 15 lbs and the doctors fixed a hernia while they were in there. The weight of the possible, horrible medical battle that Sias might have faced had the cancer spread outside of his tumor has never settled on my or Stephan's mind, and I thank God for that. My grandma battled 3 forms of cancer and surpassed all the doctors expectations, and still she was only with us for 7 more years. If Sias had been given a possible expiration date much sooner that we were ready for, I don't think this family could have handled it. God is good, He is good, His loving kindness endures forever!
  In other news, Noah and some of his similarly-aged friends are learning to swim!
Lucy, Noah, Wyatt, and Lydia, only a little afraid of the water.

I love Wyatt's face in this one. He's clearly a little bit proud of himself for jumping in the pool.

The kids are actually quite good at listening to Miss Amy. Most of the time, anyways.

It's Noah's turn to jump!

Yeah, Noah!!
 These 3-ish year olds are (hopefully) going to be swimming in no time! Especially Madi. That little girl is a fish! But don't call her that. She will very seriously tell you "No, I am not a fish."
   last Saturday we went to the Jacksonville tomato festival with the Robersons, sans the daddies. It was muggy and warm and there weren't a lot of actual activities, but Madi got to have her picture taken with Dora the Explorer, so she can die happy now, and Noah got a free balloon, so it was a successful outing after all.
This is before the sweaty, flushed pictures. And Wyatt was also there for a bit. 
This last one is a picture of Noah hugging brother Witten and cousin Bear at the same time in Oupa's hospital room when we went to visit him. It was sweet, but they didn't really pay much attention to Oupa. Silly, loud boys!

  Well, friends, you have been updated and I have the hiccups. Oh wait, we closed on out new house today, so that's some awesome news to add to the list. If you take anything away from this post, dear readers, let if be this: God is good all the time. His methods may seem questionable to us at times, but He can see the big picture and knows how to cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Therefore, be of good cheer!
  Be blessed, readers!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Super quick!

Noah has officially been graduated from daily nap time to daily play-by-yourself quiet time. I'm sad. Quiet play time lasts about an hour at best.