Friday, September 23, 2016

Brinn's Birthday in Pictures


Nine years ago this sweet baby girl was placed into our arms and not only did we get to be parents again, but our Amalia now had her sister. Her partner. Mali adored Brinnly right from the start and it was easy to see why. Brinn was precious and cuddly, learning quickly to smile as well as to express her very own thoughts about things. She's still all of those things and more. She is a cheerful soul--hardworking, friendly, but with a silly sense of humor. She loves fashion (especially shoes), Harry Potter, motorcyles, campfires, and sweet desserts. We see glimpses of each of her grandmas in her personality on a daily basis. She's a wonderful help with the babies and they love her sitting between them in the van. She's still Mali's partner in most of life's adventures and she's Carrigan's and Delaney's biggest role model. 
God certainly gave us a gift in our Brinnly Ruth Ward. Our days were full of busyness and baby care her first year of life, but now they are filled with her hugs and jokes. We are so blessed to have her in the perfect spot in our family and pray that her year ahead is filled with experiences as lovely as her. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summer Wrap-Up

Happy First Day of Fall, Y'all!  I remember Mali learning that greeting in her PreK 3 class many years ago.  We had an absolutely fantastic summer here and the ages of the kids really allowed us to soak up summer. A few highlights:

Mali and Brinnly took summer school classes through Wauwatosa Rec again. They loved learning ukuele, fitness + technology, and STEM.

Speaking of Tosa, our TOSA pool membership got a lot of use in the hot weather. All three oldest girls passed the swim test, and the babies conquered the play structure and slides.

Beautiful trips to Michigan with lots of visiting, eating yummy fruits, and a magical night showing off the sunset at Weko Beach to our Pittsburgh friends.

Taking Mali and Brinnly to the Harry Potter event at Barnes and Noble the night before "The Cursed Child" was released.

State Fair with the Ryans. We always have fun with that gang, even if the fair was hot, crowded and not quite as kid-friendly as the Berrien County Youth Fair.

Our  cul-de-sac had tons of action with all of the neighborhood kids playing in the backyard and riding toy cars and scooters up and down. The big kids sweetly entertained the babies and everyone played well together for the most part. We had a few intense rain showers but the kids played right through them.

Summer reading programs at the library that resulted in coupons out for lunches and custard.

And finally--a few random pics of our fun. We were blessed by this sweet season!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First Day!

Today we launched our PreK 4 girl, our 2nd grader, our 4th grader, and our 5th grader. We pray God's richest blessings on them and students everywhere this year.

The babies and I didn't know quite what to make of a quiet house!

Birthday Celebration

Our dear Grandma Dena celebrated her 82nd birthday this year and we traveled to Michigan to celebrate in the lovely new home of Aunt Amber and Uncle Banish. They were awesome hosts to all of us and it was so great to have that family all together, although we missed the rest of the Indiana Ward family. We enjoyed the birthday girl's request of lasagna and carrot cake (no, herbal cheese was NOT on the menu) and later checked out the very cool park a short walk away.  We could even wave to the hospital where three generations of the family were born (Jonathan, his mom, and his grandma) on our walk to the park. It feels really special to have roots back in the Park family's hometown of Niles, and we look forward to many more celebrations there

 We love you Grandma Dena and are thankful for the blessing you are all to all of us! Go Blue!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Michigan Vacation

Last winter when it was cold and dark, Amalia got the idea for a boating vacation. It took one quick phone call to her Uncle Josh to get the Wissing family on board (Grandma Sandy and Grandpa were an easy sell) and the timing was right to plan for a week in Northern Michigan following the annual Tucker reunion. My sister found a fantastic house to rent right on the Cheboygan River and we explored that cute little town and spent our sunny days boating on the beautifully clear Mullet Lake.  We took a day trip to Mackinaw Island and ate great beachside food (and fudge!) after long walks and bike rides. It was a fantastic vacation filled with memories. 
This girl has been waiting her entire life to go to the beach!  Her personality totally changed after sun and sand.

This guy kept sneaking the amazing pies that our cousin Gerry made for us. Regardless of what time of day it was.  

Playing Headbands

The guys on the ferry ride to Mackinaw.

Amalia and Everly watching the island wake up. It was my favorite time there.

Early morning Mackinaw

Delaney at the Pink Pony Restaurant

Carrigan biked extra with us to check out Arched Rock. She was pretty proud of her new T-shirt too.

Grandma and Grandpa relaxing at lunch

The Coast Guard Ship in Cheboygan

We checked out every single playground in Cheboygan.

Amalia's happy place is on a tube

New T-shirts all around

Still eating pie

My boys

This guy was a total grump on boating day until Uncle Josh FINALLY let him drive the boat. It's a good thing he's cute.

She even loved the life jacket.

My Brinnly--she worried about her daddy on the tube.

Beach sisters

No kids!

Another brave girl

Is there tubing in the Olympics?

She caught the very first fish and had her dad grill it for lunch the next day!

Our prize at the Tucker Reunion--a gift that keeps on giving. :)

Yes, I come from a big family and twins do run in it. My grandpa, Opal Fay, has the pink caption.

A few of Opal Fay's great-granddaughters, including Delaney Fay

A jam-packed but happy minivan.