Sunday, May 3, 2009

6 Weeks of Family News - part 2

So,  last time we ended with photos of when Jeremy was home (by the way he was home for just 8 days, and left for California on March 7, and left for Iraq the week of March 20.  It took him several days to arrive there and we've gotten to talk with him on the phone 3 times now).

Here are some random photos of events during March:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Dayton Up Close and Personal"]Dayton Up Close and Personal[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Fun with the Riding Mower - no lawn to mow, but that doesn"]mower fun[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Esther"]Cheesy Smile[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Multiplication Tables - back to basics around here this spring to prep for annual testing!"]multiplication tables[/caption]

Next the kids went to the Youth Fair - sponsored by 4H and happens every year at the North West Washington Fair Grounds. The cost is minimal and the fun is maximum! Your child selects a class to take, and spends all day Friday/Saturday learning - everything from cows (Jessica did beef cows this year), to gardening, to clowning, to chess and more! This year Reuben did chess, Rachel did knitting, and Rebekah did gardening/country crafts. Here's some photos that were the outcome of this:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Rebekah's birdhouse!"]birdhouse[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Chess Game - guess who's playing against Reuben?"]chess[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="It's Dayton - he learned all the moves (but the strategy is a little beyond him at just 5 years old)"]Dayton and Chess[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Girls Can play Chess - I even played a few games and won!"]Chess Girls[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="A Perspective on Chess"]CAPTION[/caption]

By the way - I didn't take any of the last 6 photos - it's the old "leave the camera out and you get lots of bonus photos" - I am so thankful for digital photography as it free the kids up to be creative with the camera and all I have to do is delete the bad ones and benefit from all the photos I didn't take the time to take!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Elizabeth - when she sleeps, she really is laid back!"]Elizabeth Asleep[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Hmmm...I wonder where I saw this before!"]Esther Asleep[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Esther with Andrea, her physical therapist. Andrea got a new job working with inpatient at St Joes, so this was her last time with Andrea - we will miss her and she was so sweet with Esther and Esther just loved her and so did I! Thanks Andrea!!"]Esther and Andrea[/caption]

When Esther first came to Andrea at the end of January, she couldn't even hold up her own head, and now Esther can roll from front to back, back to front, holds her head up while on her tummy, holds herself errect when you hold her and is almost sitting up by herself now! All that in just over 3 months - amazing for a cardiac baby, let alone for one with Downs!

That bring you up to the Middle of March - now I've got two events that need their own posts!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

6 weeks of family news - part 1

I have been sooo busy! It all started back when Jeremy was coming home.  It took so much work to get things ready for him, prepare for the open house while he was here, get our family portraits, and get in as much family time as possible - and all that was back in the beginning of March!  And here we are in May already!

So here's some photos of thei highlights of all the happening around here during Jeremy's visit until now.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jeremy Bowling"]Family time![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jeremy and Jessica and Bowling"]Family time![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Daryl Bowling"]Family time![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The Men Bowling"]Family time![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jessica and Esther - Esther is wearing Jessica's old outfit - one Auntie Lisa gave her - you know you are getting old when... the kids hand-me-downs are nearly antiques!  LOL!"]Family time![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Family time!"]Family time![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Daddy and Esther Time - Great Smile eh?"]Daddy and Esther Time[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Boy and their Tunes"]Boy Tunes[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Trying to Burn the Stump - hot dog roast and marshmellow roast too!"]Family time![/caption]

We spent around 5 days burning a "huge" hole in this enormous stump in our back yard - the hole we burned was around 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep. As it turned out, it didn't even make a dent. The base of the stump was around 8 feet across with around 4 roots that were at least 2 feet thick coming off. After breaking off most of the roots (each of which took around 10 - 15 minutes with a HUGE dozer ) the stump and root bases were around 12 feet across when it finally gave up and was lifted out of the ground leaving a huge hole behind to say the least!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jessica dis-assembling the old chicken run"]chicken run[/caption]

This used to hold chickens - it was mobile and we had meat chickens in it - you would move it every day and the chickens would eat the grass and fertilize you yard! Great idea, worked well, but I am so done with butchering chickens - last time I ended the butchering day by sinking around 2 inches of the butchering knife into my arm and puncturing an artery - not good! Jessica is removing a gazillion staples so we can re-use the treated wood to make a new grape trellis - photos of that coming soon!

Well it's bedtime, so I'll just give a quick up-to-date report. Jeremy is in Iraq and doing well. They are in a camp that is really basic - all tents and not even a real bathroom. They are on a base that has never been attacked since the Marines came there, that sounded great to me! He's a little bored and we've sent him magazines and book.

Esther is sick - she was very healthy for a little over a month and gained weight like crazy! Last weekend she came down with a bad cold, we thought, but on Wednesday I decided she wasn't herself at all and took her in (after several very-little-sleep nights with her coughing) to see the doctor and she has an ear infection, and some "noise" in her chest. She was put on some beefed up antibiotics which gave her diarhea - it burned her backside already, but we are keeping her slathered with A and D ointment now. She's still really congested so I might have to bring her back in as the doctor said to call if she wasn't feeling better after the weekend (I think that's what she said).

Esther now weighs over 15 1/2 pounds, rolls from front to back, and back to front and is almost sitting lone now!

I hope to find some time to put up some more photos from March and April tomorrow, as well as some before, during, and after photos of our driveway and front yard.

The girls and I had done some really neat flower beds in front of the house, and I've got a little over half the new front yard seeded for grass and the first portion is starting to have a green haze to it. We are planning out vegetable gardens right now and hope to start planting as soon as the rain stops (first rain in weeks - it's been like summer around here for a while and we've gotten spoiled, but we need this rain too as it will help make that grass grow!).

I've got to go to bed - long day/week and I'm bushed - just have one more sleeping body to move upstairs and then I can rest!