Friday, July 14, 2017


How it is even possible? Our firstborn is now eleven years old. Sometimes I look at her and still see that sweet and feisty toddler with brown curls...and then I realize that it's her little brother Grant and Amalia is the pre-teenager there next to him. He reminds me so much of her at that age and it's such fun to contrast that with the lovely young lady our Mal-Doll is turning out to be.

Mali is definitely our sporty girl and she loves all forms of competition. She really enjoyed being on the school's basketball, volleyball, and forensics teams this year. She and her good friend also compete hard-core for the class's AR (a reading competition) points and both encourage each other to aim high. She is also sweet and growing in sensitivity at this age. It is a delight to see her around babies and toddlers and how easily she makes them smile.

Amalia is still our morning girl with a sharp sense of routine--especially when it comes to meal and snack times. (We know exactly where she gets that!) She cooks, bakes, and loves trying new foods. Her favorites are still sushi, Indian, Chinese, and of course, split pea soup. She plans to serve meatball subs at her wedding someday. :)  I think turquoise has officially replaced orange as her favorite color, football is her favorite sport, and the Steelers are her hometown team. We love her sense of adventure, and her zest for planning the best things in life.  Amalia, you are such a delight to our hearts. We love you and thank God that he placed you in our lives. May your year be filled with blessings and lots of opportunities for us to hear your wonderful laugh.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Father's Day Fence Weekend

Some fathers probably spend Father's Day weekend relaxing and celebrating. Not the ones around here--we are so thankful to have three fathers (Jonathan, my dad, and my brother-in-law Josh) willing and able to spend hours and hours last weekend installing a new fence for our backyard. It was great to have them all here for the weekend and we have already spent lots of hours enjoying our new backyard. (We did manage to fit in some celebrating too!)

Congratulations Trent!

The day after the girls were officially done with school we headed down to Indiana to celebrate Jonathan's cousin Trent's high school graduation. The ceremony was great (surprise confetti at the end!) and what a treat it was to catch up with everyone at the party the next day. We had built in time to visit with Grandma Dena before the graduation too, and Everly spent most of that time trying to call Grandma Dena on her phone, often in the same room.  But we had a lovely dinner together and looked through great photo albums. We just can't believe that the tiny preemie baby we met 18 years ago in Texas is now way over 6 feet tall and headed to college this fall!  Congratulations and God's blessings on your future, Trent!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Summer Fun

We have already fit in quite a bit of sun and fun during our first week of summer. So far we visited our favorite library play area (set up like a pretend vet clinic now!), jumped around at the Y's Stay and Play, and swam again--this time with ice cream. A delicious summer!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Welcome Joel!

(Just realized that this hadn't been posted yet!  It's been a crazy week!)

We spent our fourth Memorial Day weekend in a row at the Ryans' house this year and this one had an added bonus...their sweet newest baby, Joel Roman.  We've been semi-patiently waiting for everyone in both families to be well enough for us to visit and it finally came together for last weekend. We enjoyed a beautiful late spring day there and even got to meet the Pleasant-Ryan family. The dads took the kids on an epic bike ride while the moms stayed in to chat more and "just" care for the baby and toddlers. We even had the chance to celebrate Iris's birthday with dinner and cupcakes. Such a lovely day!

And here's what that sweet little baby boy looks like. He was simply precious and we all squabbled over who got to hold him the most. We proudly showed off our swaddling skills and he seemed to approve. He reminds me so much of his biggest brother Jack at that stage but I can't wait to see how his own little individual personality complements his siblings. What a gift it is to have a brand new life to celebrate and love. Welcome to the world, Joel Roman Ryan!

Friday, June 02, 2017

"Going to the Pool" by Delaney and Uncle Derek

I just realized we never posted this gem from our spring break trip!

That's a Wrap

We wrapped up our 2017-2017 school year today. Woo-hoo! The girls all did very well and learned in so many areas. As always, their closing Chapel brought tears to my eyes as they reviewed their selected hymns of each month, reflected upon Scripture verses, and prayed together as a school family. Their closing song "Fear Not for Tomorrow" was especially relevant as several of our school faculty will be beginning new adventures in different positions next year. We are thankful for each one of their talents and know that God will provide the right people to take their place.

And then we celebrated the school year with a kick-off swim at our neighborhood pool.  Between that and National Donut Day being today, it was pretty close to perfect. Now on to Kindergarten, Third, Fifth, and Sixth Grades!