Friday, December 14, 2012

Crying today

Today I was planning on rocking out a December catch-up blog post. 
But my heart is just not in it.
Well it has something to do with this guy...
Kade, my kindergartner!
And more it has something to do with other boys and girls just like him who tragically had their lives taken from them today at a school in CT.  Ever since I saw the headlines my heart has just ached.  I cannot imagine being one of those mommies who will never again get to pack a lunch for her son or daughter to take to school.  I am so burdened by the senselessness of it all.  But as we do live in a world full of people who do not know the love of my sweet Jesus, I should not be surprised.  We do live in a fallen world where bad things happen.  Oh how I pray for God to show Himself to the families of those who lost their babies today.  To comfort them in a way I cannot even begin to imagine needing to be comforted.  Please pray with me.  And for those other little boys and girls who had to witness it all....may God allow them to forget like never before.
I am out the door now to go volunteer in Kade's class.  Hoping I can hug him real big without breaking down in tears and embarrassing him in front of his classmates.
So, that December blog catch up will just have to wait.  We have so many precious memories that we have been making.  Going to work on making more of them today as I hug all of my babies a little tighter.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Remembering a Fabulous November

December? How did you get here so quickly? I had so many plans for what I was going to be ready for when you got here! Only thing I'm ready for is looking back at November and wishing I had at least another week of that wonderful month so that maybe I could be ready for you. Nevertheless, you are here so let's wrap up November and get on with the festivities!
So, looking back to pre-Thanksgiving here is what the Lewallen crew had going on....
 Tyce worked hard at bonding with his big brothers.
 The twins had a Sesame Street Day..hoping to keep us smiling while we had a "goodbye" lunch date.
Our friend Vance was heading off to Afghanistan again so we met him and his sweet wife Molly for lunch to pray for them and have a chance to say "see ya later."
Molly is going to hang around for a few more weeks but then she is moving back home to Little Rock for the year that Vance is deployed.  These precious people have been a part of our lives for a long time here in WA.  We will miss them like crazy.
Kade had a month long Read-A-Thon fund raiser at his afternoon school.  In four weeks he read 700 minutes.  Twenty-five minutes a day.  Pretty good for a Kindergartner, huh?  Well he won a prize for the most money raised in Kindergarten.  His prize?
 Getting to meet the author of the "Teacher from the Black Lagoon" book series and having him sign a copy of one of his books.
 Kade chose "Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon"
 He was super excited and whisperd to me quite giddily after the signing that he had read that very book in his classroom the day before.
 After Mr. Thaler had signed books and posed for pictures with all of the winners....
he illustrated a poster for them to be hung in the school library.
It was a special time.  Kade's first award at school.  Thanks to all the awesome family members who considered his read-a-thon a pledge worthy event! 
Tesa became a hider...
 She got into the habit of making enough noise when she wakes up to get our attention and then hides under her covers and stays completely quiet when we get in her room to get her out of the crib.  It is hilarious.  I am certain she really believes that we can't see her there.  She keeps it up for a couple of minutes until she just can't help but give the big reveal...
She is a hoot!
Not only does she hide under the covers in her bed, she also hides nicely behind the curtains in her room and kitchen, as well as behind chairs and in corners.  And yes, she also hides her eyes behind her hands and says "peek a boo" like a pro. 
Ryne had a very special date...
 With his Miss Abby and Emily Claire.
Ryne loves Miss Abby to pieces.  He hasn't seen her much since precious Emily Claire was born and then had to have heart surgery and required all of her Mommy's attention.  Then Abby's husband Barry deployed at the beginning of November and she started making plans to head back home to Tennessee for a few months.  But before she left (I know, more goodbyes, so sad) she asked to take Ryne out for a lunch date.  Made. His. Day.  Actually it probably made his year!  And as a Mommy I have to say that Abby is such a treasure, not just because she is a wonderful person, but because she loves our Ryn-o like she does.  We miss you Miss Abby!  And we secretly hope that your family in TN start driving you crazy and you decide to come back to us sooner. Wink. Wink.
We had a Life Group Date night.
 It was kind of a way to spend some extra time with this sweet couple...Jonathan and Adri....before they up and left us, too.
 Just so happened that it was Adri's birthday weekend so we got to celebrate that with her.
Jonathan and Adri have been a part of our life for as long as anyone here.  They started going to church with us when we met at the coffee shop and their boys and our boys have been long time friends.
So we've tried to let our boys spend lots of time together lately.
They are going to be missed terribly.  We are looking forward to spending their last night in WA with them tomorrow.  And I will try not to cry as we say goodbye to yet another amazing family who have become great friends.
Before I cry thinking about it now I better move on....
This makes me smile.  Went upstairs to wake Ryne up from his nap and this is what I found.  He was sound asleep stuffed in a diaper box.  This boy is something else. 
As is his sister who was the first to learn this skill....
As if keeping her out of the trashcan and plants wasn't I have to keep her off of the tables, too.  We already have to keep the bathroom door locked with a key hidden for the rest of us when we need to actually use that bathroom.  Didn't take long until this is what was happening....
 They think it is great fun but this table top business is driving me crazy!
Thanksgiving couldn't have come at a better time.
It gave this gal a reason to show up...
My sister!
And she brought all the rest of the family with her!!!
Boy was I glad to make that trip to the airport.
And I think Kade was never happier to make his bus stop after school....
 Everyone was waiting for him!
 Even Uncle Josh on his very first trip to Washington!
 We had a super great time with our family.  The only thing that could have made it better is if it would have lasted longer...oh and if Mt. Rainier would have showed her beautiful self for Josh to see.  Here is some of what we did....
 Kept Grandaddy company.
 Made a late night trip to the grocery store in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner.  Yes, there are three buggies loaded up.  C.G. had a list for each of us.  She came prepared!

 Kept Uncle Josh company.
Gathered around C.G.'s special suitcase...
 Kade and Ryne seem to be happy about Tesa's new outfit.  Tesa on the other hand seems uninterested.  I think she was trying to make sure the camera was pointed her way so she could say "cheese."
 Ryne got an apron.
 Kade got an apron.
 Oh, look something for me.
 Tesa got an apron.
 Had to make sure Monk Monk and Uncle Josh weren't lonely.
 C.G.'s suitcase had these cool trees that would grow crystal leaves.
 Kade was quite intrigued.
Look how well it worked....
Super cool, huh?
Ryne turned into a kid who loved reading.  Maybe it was Kade's read-a-thon that motivated him.  But seriously he has never been one to just sit and let us even look at books with him for very long.  Until this month.  And he took turns looking at and reading books with anyone who would.
 Of course, C.G. was happy to oblige.
Oh, back to the aprons.  With new aprons must come a reason to use them...
 C.G. planned for the kids to help her make scones for breakfast.
 Yes, she is crazy.
 Remember that's what C.G. stands for, Crazy Granny.
 I'm just thankful that she's so crazy about my kids!
 Tesa and Ryne made sure Uncle Josh didn't get too bored while all the cooking was going on.
While Tyce just waited patiently to enjoy his scone.
 And then because C.G. didn't bring "toys" in that special suitcase we made a special trip to Toys R Us.
 We spent a lot of time on the Star Wars isle.
Then Tesa and Tyce got to go for a ride....
They thought it was the coolest!
 When we finally made it home that afternoon it was time to get to work.  This was the day before Thanksgiving and there was much cooking to be done.
 Kyle led the way by doing a knock out job of making his mom's peanut butter bars.  Yum!
And the trip to the toy store kept kiddos busy because they had new play things to enjoy....
 Yes, even Tyce ended up with Star Wars toys of his own.
 He was so excited about them that he kept trying to wake up a conked out Ryne to play with him.
 Tesa found her apron, she wanted to help cook.
 Look, Monk Monk got a matching apron too. 
 (So did I, but managed to dodge any pictures in it I guess)
Since Ryne wouldn't play with him, Tyce decided he might as well put on his apron and join the cooks in the kitchen.
 Grandaddy and Uncle Josh made great supervisors from the cheap seats.  Really, they are just enjoying the feel of relaxing after a yummy dinner and thinking about how good that smoked turkey was smelling as it was prepping for the big feast.
 While upstairs, a post nap Ryne and super hyped Kade were in Star Wars utopia.
 I do think that Kyle might have rather enjoyed helping them get things all set up.
 At some point that day Kade most likely said, "this is the best day ever."
Then came Thursday!  Turkey Day! Thanksgiving.
One of my most favorite holidays!
We were blessed to be able to share it not only with our family, but also with lots of friends.
 And there was lots of food....
But better than the food was the fun and fellowship....
 See, I really was there!
 Morgan was the cutest.  She took her plate and moved from seat to seat so that she could visit with everyone while she enjoyed her Thanksgiving meal.  So precious!
 You might not have noticed but Ryne was missing from the kid table because he made a special request to sit by Lissa for lunch.  And that is just what he did.
 Tesa and Tyce were both thrilled about Thanksgiving!!
 They had a ball.  I couldn't help but remember how they slept all cuddled up together in the pack-n-play all through Thanksgiving last year.  Times have changed...
It was an awesome day of giving thanks! 
Then there was Black Friday....and instead of shopping....Kyle and I got to have a double date to the movies with Monk and Josh!  Thanks to C.G. and Grandaddy for keeping the kiddos!
So much more relaxing than fighting crazy crowds for crazy bargains. 
Plus I think the boys needed to conserve their energy and get a little bit of sleep so that they could take part in this this next day.....
 A little flag football game!
 Josh in the orange.
 Kyle in the light blue.
They had a fun time. Even though it was wet and muddy.
 These girls didn't seem to mind the mud and rain. 
Aren't they cute?  Morgan, Sydney and Kendall are such sweethearts.  And they were so happy to accompany their daddy to his football game.
When our kiddos wanted to get out in the rain and watch, Monk and I convinced them that it would be better to just go to WalMart and buy a new movie.  Thanks for such a good idea C.G.
 And apparently C.G. and Grandaddy kept the babies occupied with a photo shoot while Monk and I were in the store with the big boys.
 I say that because I found about a dozen of these cute pictures on my phone that I had left in the van.
We were all having such a good time.  The bad news was that the family was headed back south the next morning.  So, we only had one afternoon left to actually show Josh a little bit of our world.
We made a drive to Steilacoom to get a nice look at the sound.  I think Josh was more impressed with these deer we saw eating apples in someone's yard.
 After Steilacoom we made a run down to Olympia.  Saw the capital and stopped in for some of what we like to refer to as "good coffee" at a nice coffee shop.
 Not sure that Josh is much a fan of "good coffee" yet.  And Monk, well she doesn't do coffee so she was happy to enjoy her hot cider.  Followed up coffee with a stop at Cabela's on our way home. 
 And this was our last supper.  As I went to grab my camera for a pic I had to admit that I was a bit sad to think that after this night we wouldn't be needing the big table for meals anymore. 
 After dinner Kade and Ryne snagged some more C.G. time.
 The fellas had some time to visit while Monk and I got some sister stuff done.
That was it.  Time was up. 
Tesa woke up early to say goodbye.  You can see that she wasn't too happy about it, either.
Not my favorite trip to the airport.  Airport goodbyes are no fun.  But I tried hard to keep repeating Dr. Suess.  "Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened."
And I have so much to smile about.  We had such a great time with our family.  So incredibly thankful that they made the trip out to Washington to celebrate Thanksgiving with us!
And look who happened to show up the day after Thanksgiving....
L. Fee and Grandaddy L. Fee.
Apparently they had heard that Tesa and Tyce have turned into quite a handful because they recruited more help to keep an eye on our brood.  A girl elf that the boys named Sparkles.
They've been popping up all over the place since then. 
So far that is the only thing Christmas that has been popping up around here.  I'm telling you the truth that December got here faster than I was ready for.  Hoping to bust out the Christmas decor this week.  Stay tuned to see if I actually manage to make it happen.  Now don't let me find out that you guys are out there making bets against me. Ha!
Hope you all enjoyed your November as much as we did and I hope that even if December did sneek up on you like it did me that you are enjoying it just the same.  'Tis the Season Ya'll!!!!