Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 in a Nutshell

As usual, I have gotten behind on blogging.  I thought I'd give an update on 2014 thus far to catch this blog up to speed.  
January 2014 - Sibling fun!

 Birthday parties for friends!
 Fun Pinterest projects

 Chinese New Year

 Chinese New Year party with friends...lots of friends this year!

 Getting to wear a 2nd dress for the party!
Chinese New Year project we made at home with our deaf mentor.

Kids in Motion- one of our favorite indoor children's play places in the area!

 Lena getting ready for church!

 Valentine's Day 2014...Lena isn't always a morning person. She had just woke up in the picture above.

Watching Lena grow is like watching a rose bloom- beautiful transformations!

Some of the kids with our wonderful deaf mentor and friend, Courtney.

More birthday parties for friends. :)

Card games in the living room.

Lena with 'her baby.'  I guess it's never to early to practice being a mom. 

Local Train Show Exhibit

A Sunday afternoon in winter.

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2014!

Too precious to not get a picture of this!  They must have both been so tired...

Visiting family friends in Illinois- March 2014.

Making a homemade pizza.

The kids enjoyed meeting their new buddy, Harrison and look forward to future visits!

Lena and her baby brother.  She loves being a big sister and having a baby around!

Jayce and Lena with their playdough creations.

Love this treasure!

We got to go swimming at a hotel pool for another friend's birthday!

Bowling event for one of the kids' school.

The weather finally got nice enough to go to the park again!

Lena watching our deaf mentor signing about bugs.

Fun times outside!

Celebrating Evan's 7th Birthday- movie theme style.

Dying Easter eggs

Easter Egg Hunt

 Happy Easter 2014
 Lena in her pretty Easter dress.

Our first family picture in a long time!

Another friend's birthday party..this time girls only! :)

Visiting Jonah's class for Star of the Week!

Lena and Evan got to be the crown bearers for prom this year for daddy's school.

First campfire of the year...yay for s'mores!

Pictures taken by dad for Mother's Day.

Our pretty girl getting ready for church.

Visiting Landyn's class for his Alpha tales project.

Another campfire...this time the marshmallow got a little too over-cooked.

Memorial Day 2014  -We visited my grandparents' graves and watched the ceremony there.  My grandparents would have loved to have met these 8 great kids!   

 Memorial Day Parade

It was so hot this year, the kids went in the sprinkler!

Some quality time at the farm. Gator rides are a favorite.

Feeding the cows and steers are another favorite.

Former Green Bay Packer, Donald of our favorites...came to a local Christian School a couple block from our home.  We had to check this out.  I felt a little bit like the paparazzi.  

She must have been really tired after our long walk this day to fall asleep on the couch like this!

Last Day of Pre-School!  What a year- what growth!  Seriously amazing!

Lena with her classroom aides.

Lena with her awesome teacher, Ms. Rene.

Last day of school for the boys!

"Talking" on the phone is one of her favorite things.  She is definitely a girly girl!

Dairy Breakfast- June

Time to go to the zoo!

Celebrating dad's birthday at Chilis.

Visiting great grandma Henningfeld at the nursing home.  

Celebrating Landyn's 5th Birthday!

Celebrating Reid's 7th Birthday!

Fourth of July 2014  

Milwaukee Fireworks

Spending time with Aunt Josie and Uncle Ron at the fireworks.

Nana's house- picture time with cousins, Anaisha and Lake.  That is Lena's fake/cheesy smile.

Go Brewers!

Lena had bit through her lip earlier in the day at nana's- first trampoline accident.  Poor girl!  The kids love picking fresh vegetable out of our garden.

Drinking their blue drinks for the 4th!

4th of July Parade

They got up close and personal with one of the firetrucks.

Orphanage Reunion for Reid in Illinois- July 2014.  Pictured here is the assistant director of Reid's orphanage and another woman who works there.

We visited our friends in Illinois after the reunion and went to the splash pad in their neighborhood.  

Celebrating Elijah and Jonah's 6th Birthday at Culver's.

German Fest- Milwaukee

Gathering with some high school friends and their kids.  Good times!

 Summer time fun!  

These two are so close!

Barn Dance at a friend's house.  This was a new thing at the party this year- a hit with the kids and some of the adults too.

Wisconsin State Fair

The perfect amount of faces!

Road Trip- August 2014!  Our first family trip in a LONG time.  We drove around Lake Michigan.  We saw a lot of great sites and had a fun and memorable trip!

Our first stop:  A small amusement park not too far from our house.

Our first night.

2nd stop: Lambeau Field- Green Bay

Yep- Lena's first time photo bombing! :)

Checking out the view of the field from the suites.

This is as close to the field as you are going to get.  The seats our families have are directly in front of us, up just four rows. GO PACK GO!

3rd stop: Bay Beach Amusement Park- Green Bay- 25 cent it!

4th stop: Friend's house just outside of Green Bay  Lena was trying to feed the pigs.

Fun times with friends!

4th stop: Pictured Lakes National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Our first sand dunes!

We saw a lot of beautiful waterfalls too!

St. Ignace- Upper Pensinsula, Michigan

We took the ferry to Mackinac Island- a first time for all of us!

Family Picture on Mackinac Island

Sleeping Bear Dunes...What a work-out!  I love how these two were trying to help each other up. :)

We decided to stop after we went over a number of dunes.  Just when we thought we were there, there were more.  It was a good thing we stopped- we had a pretty fussy baby on the way back.  We saw some incredible views though!

Ludington, MI

We went to a number of state parks and took a dune buggy ride at Mac Woods- another first for all of us and something unlike anything we've ever done before!

Visiting adoption friends in Muskegon, MI. :)

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculptures- Grand Rapids, MI

The children's garden...notice the name. :)

St. Joseph's Beach- MI

We ordered these adorable shirts to help support a friend's adoption.  Jayce was so excited to finally have an adoption shirt too! :)

Back to School Night- 4K- August 2014

County Fair!   My mom's neighbor happened to have the exact same shirt on as Lena this day.

Back to School- Registration and Picture Day- WSD.

First day of school- WSD!

First day of 4K and first time riding the bus- so exciting!

School Projects

She got wheeled to school and back one day in this ride.  Little man's first time in the wagon!

At an Ethiopian restaurant in Milwaukee to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year with Elijah and Jonah- Sept. 2014

Working on color words.

She made her shirt at school and then wore it for her field trip to the apple orchard.

So excited to go to Pearce's Farmstand for the first time this year to climb on the hay bales!

So proud of her work!

Fall Family Night at Jayce's School- one of our favorite nights of the year.

Fall campfire...this fire was a little too big for s'mores, but we made it work.


M for Mom!

Fall Festival at Rick's childhood church and school.  The kids love the games and we enjoy a great meal with Rick's family.

Loving up her baby brother!

A new park to check-out!

Pudgy pies this time...even better!

I love my family!

We have had a beautiful sad to see it go- it never lasts long enough!  This was a tree right outside our house and Lena waiting for the bus.

She is so excited to have her own school ID card now. :)

Guess who can write their first AND last name...yes that really big one...all by herself without looking at anything!  

More to come...