Still needing our prayers...

I texted back and forth with Pam, Emily's mom last night. Emily had a doctors appt with her surgeon yesterday and he said she had a "serious surgical infection". I won't go into details but once again I ask for you to keep them in your prayers. Emily is home, but weak and having to be extra careful! Her incision has been opened in order to let things "drain and heal" so they will be giving it special attention for the next several weeks. I just ask you to continue to pray to our Heavenly Father for him to shower down on Emily an extra dose of healing from this surgery and to take Crohn's away from her body!! I know Emily and her family are so thankful to each and every one who is lifting her name up! I also ask for a God to give Gordon, Pam and Dave a huge dose of energy and endurance!!

We love you Trices and Machts!!!


Easter 2011

Like I said earlier, my posting has fallen quite behind. But for memory sake, and since this is "my diary-journal" of sorts...I will try to do some catching up.

Easter 2011-A blessed time indeed!

We had the great joy of having all our kids home for the holiday. It just gets better and better. Now that Emma is old enough to "romp" around with the boys and they have realized she wasn't always going to be the "baby on the blanket", they are just having so much fun playing together! She loves her cousins and since they are the only cousins she has...they are pretty special to her!

David, Ashley and Emma arrived on Friday evening and so enjoyed a little Emma time before she was put to bed for the night.

Saturday morning, David and Larry went hunting while Zach, Meg, Ashley and I took the cousins for a little photo shoot! It cracks me up to look at ALL the pictures (which trust me I want post all since there were over 500!) because it would make a great flip book! Each picture shows a slightly different facial expression on one of the kids! So funny and yet so challenging to really get one good one of all of them! Here are just a few of my favorites:

 Will, Clay, Emma and Owen
 Owen, Clay, Will and Emma
Will taking his job serious in holding Emma's hand!

This one cracks me up...well there were LOTS like this...the kids just weren't as in to having the pictures made as the adults! Ha. 
So sweet! Though not all look at the camera!

After we finished with the group pictures, the parents took some of their own kids. Problem is, I don't have Zach and Meg's pictures yet. One of these days! 
Here are a few favorites of Emma:

After pictures, we all met at Lucy's for a burger! (Yum. Abilene folks, if you haven't checked our Lucy's burgers on North Treadaway, you must go!!). Then it was time for naps...for the little kids.
The evening was filled with play time, making an Easter Gingerbread House and just hanging out as a family with a little dinner mixed in there too!

Easter Sunday
We decided to try for a few family pictures before hunting eggs...but we made it quick because we had some very excited little kids!

Okay, now FINALLY we had taken enough pictures and believe me, I am sparing you the agony of all of them...though of course if you want to see them all...I am HAPPY to show you! :)
It was Easter Basket Time!!
This year, the kids baskets were "colored themed" with all sorts of fun little trinkets in their basket color!

Then while we were having "basket time" something crazy happened...
THE EASTER BUNNY CAME!!!! Sneaky, huh!!!
So, it was time to gather eggs...and yes...you could only look for your color! Made it a little more challenging for the big guys and gave Emma a little help too!

 Okay, once again, I apologize for the lack of pictures. I didn't even take my camera out this year, because Ashley, Zach and Meg all had one in their hands. So...as soon as I have more of the boys, I will have to post. Ashley had her cord with her so we downloaded them right on to the computer that day, which made it so easy and I had instant pictures to look at! 

We are so blessed by these two families. They are raising good kids! I love to watch my kids being parents. It is another joy in life! It is pure blessings for Larry and I to watch them in action. We are so proud of the way they are living their life and being an example to their own kids.
Easter 2011 was a very SWEET holiday!

Emily is home!!!

We received word last night that Emily is home! She wrote Ashley that she had no idea how weak she was until she tried to climb the two steps into her house! CRAZY!!! We are so thankful she is home with her family and we pray that is exactly the medicine she needs to get strong, better and of course we continue to pray for complete HEALING!!

Take Crohns away from this sweet girl, oh God! Let her body be completely healed as we know ALL is possible in you!

Thank you all for continuing to pray and the sweet concern you have shown. Isn't it the greatest feeling in the world to know your family and friends are on their knees whenever you ask!

Love you all dearly!


Knight Camp 2011

This is a month late, but once again, I just can't seem to catch up with "life" right now! So without further excuses...may I present....


It is hard to believe this is our 5th Knight Camp!!! We always have so much fun coming up with themes, planning activities, art, food, t-shirts, etc. This one was especially fun because of the theme...


We always send them each an invitation, which details the theme, where we will go, etc. I always love making those!!

We picked them up on Thursday at 1:00 PM. They were so excited so after a couple of pictures and loading up, we hit the road...destination...Fort Worth Stockyard Area!! Seemed like the perfect place to talk about Cowboys!!

We had tons of fun in the car talking about cowboys. I had checked out and borrowed lots of books about cowboys so we had fun reading a new book every 30 or so miles! Between reading books, each boy got a box with some fun car activities inside. Colors, color pages about cowboys, stickers, etc. The box also had some fruit snacks and a roll of Fruit Flavored Mentos inside for a little treat. Funny story about those Mentos. The two older boys were excited about having candy but kind of took it in stride! Will was another story. Those "mento" consumed his every thought! We got so tickled at him. I told him he could open his package and have two, which he did QUICKLY! Then about every 5 minutes, he would open his box and say "Honey, just checkin' on my Mentos." He would look at them, smile and close the lid. Then he would repeat it every few minutes. Other comments would be, "My tummy says thank you for those Mentos!", "My tummy is sure happy about that Mentos", "Honey, my tummy was wondering if it could have another Mento?". It was so funny, those Mentos totally consumed him! Kind of like me when there is chocolate in the house! :) Guess he takes after me in that area! I feel his "pain".

We talked alot about the "gear" Cowboys wear and why, what life was like for cowboys, etc. It was fun to hear their thoughts. I had also found a really cute DVD on Cowboys and so that took about 45 minutes, so really the trip to Fort Worth went fast...oh yeah, we also had a fun Texas Car Bingo game...where they looked for things on their card...they had tons of fun helping each other spot things as we traveled! Clay was very into that little task!! Again, Ashley was very helpful in making the game so cute!! I guess you could say she is the resident Art Designer for Knight Camp!

We told the boys that we were going to try to make it to Fort Worth in time to catch a train! We did just that...barely! They were loading up for the last run of the day as we drove into the parking lot...but thankfully they waited for us to board! It is the little train near the Fort Worth Zoo, very fun little ride and we again talked about how cowboys used trains to transport their cattle or if they needed to take a long trip! It was such a fun relaxing little ride! Here are a couple of shots from our ride.

We had hoped to take a ride on the big train that is located in the Stockyard area, but the week of our trip, we learned it was closed for repairs! Ugh. But, this was a perfect little train for them!

After the train ride, we stopped for a burger and then to the hotel! 

The boys were quite excited when they learned we were staying in a hotel (kind of a big treat as we normally camp out!) and they were VERY excited to learn that it had an indoor pool! Yep, you guessed it...the theme of Knight Camp quickly changed gears once they realized they could swim. Maybe next year will be a "Swim Theme" and we will just hang out at a pool all day! :)

We had a very fun time swimming, we have three little fish!
After our swim, we went back to the room for a snack, got in our PJ's and built a campfire!
Yep, you read it right...after all we had to have a "campfire" to read our books by
and to tell cowboy stories! Don't worry, we didn't violate any fire codes! :)

The last thing before bedtime was something Larry had been waiting for since the boys were born...really. He wanted to buy them cowboy boots when they were tiny...but I just kept putting him off on that purchase as I wanted them to really be old enough to enjoy them...and wear them more than once before they outgrew them! (Will is the one of the group that will really benefit from this purchase...he has boots for years!) Anyway, we had purchased them in Abilene but they had no idea!
Before bedtime, we gave them to them! We had some very excited and thrilled little Buckaroos! I am surprised they didn't want to sleep in them! It was a fun moment, especially for Bud!!!
Owen with his blue top boots
Will with his green top boots
Clay with his red top boots!
It took them a little while to wind down and get to sleep but after a good rest we were ready to go learn all about how cowboys lived long ago!

This is the design Ashley made for our shirts! The star was on the front and the cowboy on the back!
Here it is on our cute little buckaroos!
We ate in the hotel and it was a special surprise when we found out their waffle maker made waffles in the shape of Texas! That was so nice of them to work with our theme! :)
After breakfast, we headed to the Log Cabin Village. What a fun place this is. It is across from the Fort Worth Zoo and has so many fun houses to walk through...all done in period time decor with a tour guide in each location to teach you about the family that lived it that house. One house had lots of hands on stuff for them to touch and we even got to pump water! It really gave them a feel for time in cowboy times!
Here is a few OF many pictures we took while there:
Will in deep thought about something
 This one cracks me up...I was trying to get them to be "bow-legged" and they couldn't figure out how to do it...Owen had to use his tongue to get it right!

Bud, Will, Owen and Clay

Will, Owen, Clay and Honey
We would love to take them back to this when they are a bit older, but we highly recommend it!
Next stop, Fort Worth Stockyards! 
First thing we did was spend some time at the Petting Zoo. Okay, basically it was a bunch of goats...
but they had so much feeding them, especially our little Clay, He is such an animal lover. I think he will be a vet one day...if he can stand to give them shots! He is so sensitive and he was totally in his element. 

Next stop was the mechanical bull! I really didn't know if any of them would do it but they all three said they wanted to...after Clay watched Owen and Will do it, he decided he would save his ride for another day! I really don't think he was scared to do it, but of course we had drawn quite a crowd of "watchers" and he is just a little shy! I took videos and thus have no still shots of this...and I can't get the videos to load. Grr. Just have to take my word, it was very cute! 

Next we went to "meet" the Longhorns that would be in the cattle drive later in the day. They had the pictures of each Longhorn, with their name so we had fun looking at the picture and then trying to find them in the pens and trying to determine why they were named that!

Before the cattle drive began, we made a visit to an old fashion candy store with barrels full of candy...each boy got to pick a few little treats. It was quite a decision as there were SO many choices! It was fun to munch on while we watch the cows go by! 

Waiting for the cattle drive to begin

Bud and the boys then did the maze while I took pictures from one of the look-out stations. It was fun to watch them weave their way through and fun to watch Bud try to keep up with three little boys with different ideas of which way they should go! :)

After the maze, Bud sharing a story with his three little guys. Love these pictures!

We ate some BBQ and then headed back to the hotel for a little swim and a little nap! Learning about cowboys is hot and hard work! 

Will was one tired little puppy after his swim!

After our nap, we read a few more books and played another little game that a friend at church helped me make. Shanna is super talented and just free handed the pattern then I made it out of different papers that two girls, Stephanie and Brandi (who help me in the workroom at church) had given me! As you can see, Knight Camp has become a group project!!! These girls have been so much fun...they love hearing what the theme will be and once they do, they are always looking for ideas!
Here is a picture of the game!

The boys loved it.

After that we headed back to the Stockyards, for a special treat! Ashley and Emma met us there and I cannot tell you how excited the boys were about Emma "coming to Knight Camp"! Next year will actually be Emma' first "official" time but since we were in the area, they came to join the fun, eat at Coopers with us and then back to the hotel to swim. David was able to join us there. Here are some pictures of the boys and Emma enjoying the fun "rides" at the Stockyards!

 Honey and Emma Girl!

Buckaroo Clay
 Outlaw Owen
and Wild Will
Clay and Will
Owen, Will and Clay
 Really...can you get much cuter than this! He loved his boots and the jeans...well...they were always tucked in! :)
 My boys
Clay and Owen...sweet brothers
 Bud, Emma, Owen, Clay, Honey and Will
Bud, Owen, Honey, Clay and Will

Before we left the Stockyards, we had to break these three out of Jail!
Outlaws Clay, Owen and Will

Then it was back to the hotel for swim time with the boys and Emma!

 Love those thighs!!!
Three precious little guys!

Everyone slept really well, in fact Owen fell off the bed on top of Will, who was on a pallet between the beds and he never budged, now I say that is sleeping pretty hard! I am not sure Owen even woke up!
We got up, enjoyed another yummy breakfast and let the boys swim one more time before checking out!
We had more books to read on the way home and "crafts" to do so the trip went fast.

It is hard to explain how much fun we have planning these little Knight Camps! It is so fun to "study" something and base all our activities around it. We once again are thinking about next year and looking forward to adding a girl to the mix! Emma we look forward to your joining our crew!