Wednesday, February 27, 2013

losing Noah

I've recently realized that I forgot about a pretty significant event in our family that occurred last year.

Noah got lost on one of our walks. I thought he had been abducted.

Beginning in November 2012, I started walking more outside with the kids on their bikes in an effort to gain less weight for this pregnancy (i don't think it's helping though!). On December 4, 2012 we were having some friends over for dinner and since it was cooking nicely in the crock pot, I thought we could go on a nice long walk.
a photo recreation taken today

Usually on our walks, we go north of our house until the road goes up a steep hill. When we reach the hill, or before, we would turn aside.

But since I had dinner simmering nicely at home, I decided we would tackle the hill and go for the full 2.5 mile walk. We live very close to the edge of the Black Hills and there's a road (South Canyon Road) just a half mile up from our house that skirts the hills, rolling nicely up and down. It's so pretty. I'd never taken the kids up there because of the hill. 
THE hill

We got to the end of the road (Nemo Road), our half way point, and turned around to head home. Now here's where I need to say that Noah is a very obedient boy and would always wait for me at each road intersection before crossing. He would never get that far away. However, I had slowed down to help Evie and Noah kept going. When Noah reached to the top of this big hill (where this photo is taken from), he decided that he would try to go it alone. And once he started going, he could not stop! Once he reached the bottom of the hill, he was going so fast, he thought he'd just ride the half mile home on his momentum and wait for us there.

But I didn't know that. When Evie, Samuel and I reached the top of the hill, I expected to see Noah waiting there for me. I did not see him. We ran down to this intersection to look further down the hill and still couldn't see him (because he was already down and on his way home). It never entered my mind that he wouldn't wait for me so I thought he'd been abducted in the few minutes he was out of sight. I walked back up the hill and around the block hoping perhaps he took a wrong turn. I called Terry in a panic. Terry said to call the police, which I did, and he headed home from work. After explaining where we were and what had happened like three or four times, they instructed me to just wait where I was. So I stood right here at the top of hill freaking out. That was the worst part, just pacing there.
see the car's angle on the road? it's a steep one.

 I remember running back up the hill to look for Noah again and looking back at Evie, who couldn't quite keep up. She was crying and freaking out too. It was just so very scary! 
a view of the bottom of the hill as it turns south on it's way back to our house.

After about 10 minutes of waiting on the phone, a police man finally came to the top of the hill and informed me that they had found him waiting calmly at our house for me to show up. He loaded up Evie's bike and Samuel's stroller and drove us home. Noah was just standing there all sheepishly with another police man and I hugged him and scolded him. When we got inside, we lectured and talked, Noah had a good cry over all of it and was all better. For me, however, it took several days to stop feeling all panicky as if I was still in the midst of searching for my first born - I felt like I was still on top of that hill! Then I didn't want to walk that way anymore due to the fearful memories. Since then, time has healed most of the fear and I'm over it. It did take me this long to remember it! I thought I'd better write about it so none of us forget. After all, Evie has also run away. I sure hope Samuel never does anything like this!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

daddy fun time

I just had to grab the camera yesterday when the kids all jumped on daddy for a ride around the room while we were waiting for some students to show up. It reminded me of this evening of wrestling. That happens around here a lot.

I don't know what daddy will do when we have another little boy interested in wrestling... Perhaps that's the purpose of his two arms and two legs? He's got to get in a work out somehow.

Samuel especially enjoyed his piggy back ride. By the time the students got here, he threw a real nice fit because he wasn't ready to be done playing with daddy. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

ice skating II

 One of the fun things about being in a homeschool coop is the activities that come along with it. On Friday we were able to go ice skating downtown for free! The kids had such a fun time on their first outing a month ago that they were eager to go again. And it was nice that mommy and Samuel got to go along this time to watch.
Noah, Evie and daddy first hitting the ice. 

They all quite enjoyed watching the Zamboni.

Despite what the kids say, they did fall a few times. But those walker things sure were helpful.

Pretty little Evie. When she fell she'd just sort of disappear behind her walker until she could pull herself back up.

Every time Noah went by, he gave Samuel a high five. Noah and daddy thought that since Noah was doing so well that he should try skating without his walker. That didn't work out so well but he didn't get discouraged.

At one point towards the end Samuel led me over to the coffee shop and just sat down inside. I don't know if he was cold or what. But then he led me over to the counter where he tried to grab stuff so I led him out and took some photos of him. Cute little face!

He's just so cute. And such a punk.


Terry received an espresso maker from his parents Christmas of 2011. So when it seemingly busted about a month ago, we figured our yummy mocha habit had been good while it lasted. 

It was actually a funny thing because the night the machine bit the dust just so happened to be the same night we invited some friends over for the express purpose of having Terry's mochas. He ended up having to use the microwave! Fail.

So the machine broke. He searched the owner's manual for cleaning hints and tried running vinegar through the thing several times. No good. He called the company and they instructed him to insert a paper clip into the metal steaming wand thing to see if it would dislodge anything. No good.

Finally, he took a good utility knife to it so he could see what was inside!

And sure enough, wouldn't you know that he found a small nick or hole in the plastic tubing leading down to the steaming wand! That's what had messed up the pressure so he couldn't steam milk anymore. So he ran all over town looking for the appropriate replacement tubing, or even something close but came up with nothing. Still not willing to give up, he thought he'd try to work with the tubing above where the hole had been and finally had success, even if it is a little awkward. :) We're back in business baby!

Friday, February 15, 2013

dare to share 2013

 It's hard to believe that it's already been a week since Terry and I went to Dare to Share in Lincoln, NE. But believe me, it's taken that long to recover from the whirlwind exhaustion. 

This was Terry's sixth trip, but only the first with our new Rapid City group (I only have blog posts from 2010 and 2011 for some reason...). It was my third trip, but the first of which whilst being nearly 7 months unattractively pregnant and nine hours away. So it was good news that we took a very comfortable charter bus where we didn't have to worry about inclement weather (our bus driver was awesome and kept us safe over some treacherous snow packed roads where I was sure we were in trouble).

Here are the fearless leaders: Seth, Jackie, me, Terry, Meghan and Paige. I love these people! Oh, and do you think Jackie and I look alike? She's been confused for Terry's wife several times...

Here is our group in front of the capitol. We took 27 students. They were a great group.

Jump! I didn't of course - just sort of threw my arms up so I looked really silly.

Here's Greg Stier, the funny twitchy little guy that founded Dare to Share. Which, in case you were wondering, is a weekend youth conference all about "passionately pursuing Christ, boldly proclaiming Him and recklessly abandoning the things keeping us from Him." The students (and leaders!) were trained how to share their faith and challenged to do so through text messaging and striking up a conversation with a stranger in the mall. I was very impressed with how the students did. I actually initiated a conversation this year too!

Our band was called Everfound and they were pretty good. Terry used their song in the video.

I didn't want to miss this trip even though I knew it would be kinda grueling. I wanted to get to know our students better, but also see our friends from Gburg, who were taking 100 students along. We stopped at a Runza for lunch since it's only a Nebraska chain. Oh, how I love and miss that place!

Here is about the only decent shot of me I could find. My face is already swelling and I have a long way to go!

 Photobomb by Meghan. Perhaps it's distracts from our pretty silly expressions.

Our friend Faith designed the shirts, which turned out awesome. Terry can't print them anymore because he has no where to set up his printing press. It's really a blessing since it's so much extra work on top of everything else. 

Terry shared his faith like this... 

And here is the video! A huge thanks to both of our parents for watching our three kiddos (one of them who was sick!) so I could go along!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

destroyer baby strikes again

Samuel is known by a few nicknames around here. Recently I've been calling him Little Face because I love his little face so much and he's so stinking cute. But today he reminded me (as if I needed reminding) of why we also call him Destroyer Baby.
Case in point - he attempted to destroy the camera I had propped up on the dresser to take my six month pregnancy photo. 

A couple weeks ago I was on my own with Samuel for a morning while daddy took the other two to Menards. The point: Big brother and sister were not around to keep an eye on Samuel while I took a shower. I thought, foolishly, "Surely he can't get into that much trouble in ten minutes." Pshaw!

When I descended the stairs ten, maybe fifteen minutes later, Terry and the kids were home and Noah and Evie were yelling simultaneously for me to come and see the various messes Samuel had made. The worst being the entire container of cornmeal that he dumped out on the floor and corner cupboard (while I cleaned up the cornmeal, I found more popcorn kernels that he had dumped there previously - so that cupboard got a good vacuuming). He also shook out a large box of Lipton tea bags on the kitchen floor. From there he moved on to the Nilla Wafers, which he dumped out for good measure. When I went downstairs later, not even thinking he had been down there, I found that he had got into a math homeschool box and tore everything out. Ten minutes people!

This photo from nearly a year ago completely captures his Destroyer Baby Curious George shenanigans. 

Oh, and on a different day, he got into a box of Triscuits crackers while we were doing school and dumped them all over the couch and floor in his quest for snackage (Snap enjoyed that venture). He also frequently gets into the game drawer with cards, etc. and makes a mess of that. He scavenges the buffet drawer which has random things in it like ear buds. He took some of those out of Terry's bag and destroyed them on Monday.

Even Terry's sister has had to deal with it. She watched them last week for a baby appointment (because obviously we can't bring HIM with us). As I was headed back to pick them up, Shari texted me a photo of the complete mess he had made of her living room. She knows what I'm talking about now.

I swear, it's like having a dog. No, an untrained puppy, but worse. A couple weeks ago Snap did get into the garbage, consume a huge amount of beef fat and proceed to throw and poop it up the next two nights in his kennel. Samuel is worse because he's potty training...

science - water mix-ins

Terry and I were traveling to Lincoln, NE last weekend for Dare 2 Share. As such, we are a little behind on school and I didn't get to our science experiment until today, almost a week later.

Today we learned about how water mixes well with some things and not with others and how sometimes it can be separated and not so with others. I think they had more fun stirring stuff up than learning, but oh well. They especially enjoyed when I added blue to the red food coloring.
left to right is 1) oil, 2) sand, 3) flour, 4) valentine candy, 5) food coloring. 

Noah striking a pose in front of the oil and sand sieving glasses. He looks so...debonair? Sleepy?

This picture is pretty much the reason I decided to post photos. The candy heart just looked so cool as the water dissolved it. Perhaps Evie understood the premise because the next time she ate a candy heart, she did not chew it. She just sucked it. She kept pulling it out and looking at how "flat" it was getting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

superbowl party

So we had our first Superbowl youth party at our house February 3. Who was even playing? 49ers and Ravens? I always forget. But it was fun. It's neat to have people over and sort of "break in" the house. Though of course, we hope they don't literally break our house. 

We had one group on the big couch downstairs. 
playing wii mariokart and not watching Beyonce during half time

And another group upstairs. We (okay, mostly me) are really looking forward to having the dungeon space available for more seating. The big couch is pretty darn crowded into that room. But the kids did have fun on their flying turtles (no big kids allowed though because something would get broken).

Our friends Marcus and Jackie brought their four kids for the fun, which took care of my kids and theirs since they mutually kept each other busy having even more fun. Noah looks so serene with Eli.

Evie and Aly are good buds. They are almost the exact same age and play so well together. Evie is much more social than Noah. Or Samuel. I think it's mostly a girl thing.

Case in point? Samuel and JT appear to be playing together, but they're really playing next to each other. That's normal for two year olds, but I think Samuel will end up being more like Noah when it comes to social situations (Noah is more aloof).
Samuel is like "My wall track"

first ice skating

A few weeks ago, our homeschool coop organized a reduced rate ice skating afternoon. Terry really wanted to keep working on the dungeon, but was a good daddy and kept his promised to take the kids out on their first ice skating experience instead. They had a blast.
I like their little kid "walkers"

I'm thinking they would not have desired to go nor enjoyed themselves nearly as much if they hadn't watched the youth group students ice skate with daddy the previous week. That made them very excited to try it for themselves. And although I couldn't go (because, 1. I'm pregnant and 2. Samuel was napping), Terry said they had a great time. Except for the blister Evie got.

Monday, February 4, 2013

snowman with daddy

When we had to bust out our old camera for Samuel's birthday when our new one ran out of battery, I found some old photos I didn't know existed. These are from December 7, 2012. I have no idea what went on that day. It was a Friday and for some reason Terry was outside with the kids and I was...hiding? Christmas shopping? I have no idea where I was.

Making snow men with daddy has become the thing to do when it snows. But for some reason they think they have to demolish the poor thing right after they make it. That's what they did this day too. But they did do something different with the last leftover snowman mound. They played king of the mountain on it until Daddy fell and hurt his back.

What a handsome boy. However, I hope he didn't throw snow at the camera. Yeah, and Noah is wearing Samuel's hat. Another clue that mommy wasn't around.

Little squish is still cute even if she has homeless hair. Again, mommy wasn't around. You can always tell when that is based on the state of Evie's hair.

And, finally, behold Samuel in Evie's hat and old mittens. Poor kid looks legitimately like a girl.

Snowman even has a hat! Perhaps we'll find a place to put that stepping stone this summer...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Samuel is 2!

Today was the day Samuel was born two years ago. It seems like he should only be one year old but I guess time seems like it goes quicker and quicker every year. 

I vividly remember Samuel's birth and the first days surrounding his life. The weather was very similar to what it has been this week - frigid. He was in the hospital with jaundice for four days (I wish our #4 baby boy would skip the whole orange/bili-blanket thing, but after 3 of them, I doubt it). He sure looks like himself here doesn't he? Perhaps he's not digging the swaddling. He doesn't like being restrained. Brushing his teeth goes better if I don't hold him down - a trick I've only recently discovered.

 But after looking through the last year's photos, I guess it really has been a year and he's grown so much. I remember he was super grumpy for last year's birthday, his first. Perhaps it was because his birthday was the day we started telling our G-burg friends we were moving back to Rapid City.

This photo is from the end of last February when we had his first or second haircut. I love his long hair, and that's why it's like that again now. He's got such a cute little face!

Samuel became known as Destroyer Baby after many tricks like this at the beginning of April. He took apart the screen door hinge. He looks so pleased about it too.

We visited the Outdoor Campus West shortly after we moved in late April. He's still wearing his first baby shoes. Nice socks as well.

By the end of May we finally got him some new shoes while we were living at my grampa's house. I love this photo of Samuel stranded on a ledge, scared for his life. 

At the end of June Samuel had Hand, Food and Mouth Disease. Poor little face.

Mid-July was hot hot hot and we played on the slip n slide quite a bit to cool down. Samuel had a grumpy face after he fell down.

Fast forward to the end of September for our fall drive through Spearfish Canyon. Bring on the long hair again! He's too cute. His bottom row of teeth filled in after this.

And by January, he was so big that he could roll himself around on the flying turtles. 

He's two now! We had his birthday party this last Sunday with his cousin Grace. Talk about a delicious cake, thanks to my sister and pinterest and the back of the Hershey's cocoa box.

He's got such an intense look about him, doesn't he? Looks just like the first photo from this post. He has been loving his Transformer gift because it's similar to big brother's. He wants to be just like Noah and Evie.
Our family sure has enjoyed having mischievous little guy Samuel around. He's a lot of fun and we love him like crazy. Happy #2 Little Face!