Friday, May 31, 2013

The Wards go to a wedding...

Leave it to our church to turn an otherwise ordinary Tuesday night into an occasion to celebrate.  Our friend Diana (former LSF student--now deaconess!) was married there and we were blessed to be a part of it.  It reminded us so clearly of other First Trinity weddings (The Ryans!  The Wilsons!) and the joy was so apparent in both the service and the reception.  Delaney bounced on her baby-sitter Caitlyn's lap while ringing the table decoration bells during the first part of the music.  Her first wedding!  The bigger girls marveled at the individual cakes on each table and devoured punch and pierogies. We even fit in the Cha-Cha Slide and a few other songs before admitting it was WAY past everyone's bedtime.  A lovely, lovely night.

Race Day!

 Check out my newest running partner!  Brinn ran her first race with me this Memorial Day weekend. We finished the Penn Hills Romp in 40:00 exactly.  She had only trained up to 2 miles before that point but was anxious to do a 5K official race.  There were a few mid-run tears, but she was a tough cookie and finished it running.  The race itself wasn't an ideal course (lots of hills and an ending that wrapped way around a school building) so we may look for a different race next year.  But I was so proud of that little sweaty hand in mine!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Did I mention that I love New Market Tax Credits?  That's the subject of the conference that Jonathan was booked for (once again--in Miami!) and it worked out that I could fly down early with him to have a mini-vacay before the actual work started.  What timing!  Grandpa and Grandma Sandy were dears to drive in late Friday night for the kid hand-off Saturday morning. The kids had a blast here with them while we took in the sights of a new-to-us city and soaked up sunshine as well as precious time together.

Still Celebrating!

We couldn't forget our favorite daddy's birthday in the middle of all the activity around our house lately!  PNC Bank was kind enough to schedule a conference in Miami (!) for the weekend of the big day so we had a little low-key family dinner party the day before.  Mali, of course, does nothing low-key.  So while I cooked up our new favorite sweet-and-sour chicken recipe, she coordinated a scavenger's hunt with her sisters.  When Jonathan came home, he read her clues to find all of his sweet cards, and eventually, his Kindle, which had a new book on it for him.  ("Broken", by Rev. Jonathan Fisk. An excellent read, by the way!).  Then we settled in on the porch for dinner and angel food cake with strawberries and Nutella sauce.  Happy, happy 35th to the love of my life and the hero to all of my girls.  What a gift from God he is to all of us.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Birthday Time!

 An additional bonus of Grandma Deni's visit here was the chance to have a belated birthday celebration for her.    It's not April without singing "Happy Birthrday " around a lemon dessert.

She even treated all of us to a lunch out the next day to keep the celebration coming--because that's the kind of mom/mother-in-law/grandma that she is.  We're pretty lucky she's ours.

Munchkin Surprise!

 You know what they say--every good shows needs a good audience.  Or something like that.  Anyway, the girls were excited that friends from church were there in the front row for the opening night of the "Wizard of Oz".  But the next morning they had an even bigger surprise...Grandma Deni had taken the train in earlier that morning to be there to watch them perform!  We told them there was a surprise hiding somewhere in the house and it took them quite a while to find her sleeping in the downstairs guest room. Delaney was especially bewildered but a few gifts from her grandma helped ease the transition. 
A bundle of brightly colored socks for Mali

A "future shoe shopper" onesie for Laney

Bracelets for Brinn--what else?

 And Carrigan's sporting her new gardening t-shirt from Grandma Deni.  All of the girls together helped theri grandma break in the new yard and she even brought beautiful bright planters to use as container gardens soon. What a special day!

The Lullaby League

Our school took on the ambitious task of performing "The Wizard of Oz" for this year's musical.  It was a Middle/High play but of course a lot of little ones were needed to play the Munchkin parts.  The lovely music teacher/director recruited our three biggest ones for the "Lullaby League" trio.  Since we don't have them in dance or gymnastics of any sort, this was really a blessed opportunity for them.   As well as a chance to wear make-up and frilly costumes. 

All of the girl Munchkins--there were another twenty or so boys!

We had been practicing since January so they were ready for opening night.    It was tough to wait for their scene "backstage" but they came up with things to do.  I was again grateful for our school's focus when a teacher came in to pray with the cast before the show and reminded all to perform for the glory of God.

I was nervous for them to actually appear on stage but they came out with confidence and partcipated well in the group choregraphy as well as their trio song/dance.  There was a *little* tussle for time in front of the microphone, but what can you expect from sisters. 
The performances were Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. (Did I mention we were in our last weekend of moving those particular days?).  We were all beyond ready to be done with that yellow brick road by Saturday night.  I thought ahead and packed nightgowns for them and they scrambled out of their pink tutus after their final scene as quickly as possible.

And then like the little girls they are, they celebrated with a quick spin through the playground before we went home to celebrate with ice cream.  Bravo, Ward Girls!  You really made us proud.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Slowing Down

So far, 2013 has brought our family:

--an unexpected kitchen remodel in our rental house
--the search for and purchase of a new house
--updating (floors and walls) of the new house
--jury duty
--the loss of my grandfather
--an unexpected trip to Florida for the funeral
--10 weeks of teaching a Parent/Toddler Program
--Jonathan's regular full-time+ work schedule
--the older three girls' first ever musical performance (three times!)
--not one, but TWO car accidents.  Thankfully, both without injury.
--the move into the new house
--two trips to Michigan  (and a few chances to host grandparents here)
--the regular daily needs of a four girls, ages 6, 5, 3, and 1.

It has been a wild ride.  But now we are in and declaring that it is time for life to slow way down so we can enjoy the show.  We plan to hang curtains and pictures this weekend and maybe even tackle a few more unpacked boxes.  But that's about it.  For a good long time.