Friday, July 31, 2015

The Kurths Came to Wisconsin!

Our dear friends, the Kurth family came to visit us in yet another state last month. What a treat it was!  We picked up exactly where we left off (with just a few extra kids) and explored this state together.  Old World Wisconsin was fan-tas-tic! The kids ran around with rhubarb in hand, checking out every aspect of pioneer life. The Ryans joined us too and we filled up that one-room schoolhouse. We also checked out a new playground, biked to Hallmark, toured the Milwaukee Art Museum and made about a million more memories with these wonderful friends of ours. Plus, they cooked for us!  While we munched on rhubarb bars! Oh, and Karianne and I both RAN together and RAN to Target/Trader Joe's together--my favorites! Thanks for trekking cross-country for us, Kurth family! 

Brookfield Zoo

Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Sandy our entire family enjoyed a great day at the zoo last weekend. Some of the biggest hits of the day were the dolphin show, butterfly exhibit, and gorilla cave. So much to see and perfect weather topped it off!

At least one is smiling!

He's more of a Steelers/Packers guy

The look on Grant's face when he borrowed Julia's bib.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Six years ago our lives were quite a bit different than they are now and to top things off, a brand new baby girl entered our arms. We couldn't have asked for better! Her bright blond hair and blue eyes reminded us of both her Aunt Kara and her Aunt Amber but she's always been a model of her own. Her sweet, spunky, and brave personality makes her such a unique part of this family.
This was a great year for Carrigan. She had never really enjoyed school before--just various parts of her day.  She and Kindergarten though were a match made in heaven. Her teacher was her special gift from God this year and she really clicked with her friends as well. She reads now and does so all the time.  She loves her sisters but when squabbles occur--and they do!--it is a good reminder that alone play for her is great too. She's becoming quite an artist! And she's a pro at cuddling babies too. Grant and Everly cannot get enough of her.
Carrigan loves riding bikes, pretend play, crafts, fashion, legos, and puzzles. She still cannot really decide on what she should have for breakfast on any given day and she does NOT like cake or frosting. Spicy foods?  Fruit in every course?  Yum!  Her favorite is still tuna casserole. That girl!  Green  is still her favorite color, preferably with pink and cheetah prints on the side.
Our sunshine/storm clouds girl is outdoorsy and tough, spirited and brave. She cuddles up to us often, especially when sick (WAY too much this year!) and chats our ears off. We eat it up.  Carrigan Grace, you are a delight and a blessing to all of us. Thanks for being right in the middle of our hearts

Friday, July 24, 2015

Quote of the Day--by Amalia

Filed under "I just cannot keep up with her!"--

Amalia--"Mama, you know what we should do?  Make our OWN pizza someday
Kaethe--"Okay, we could do that. I would be up for making our own dough, and then topping it our favorite toppings."
Amalia'--"No, totally our OWN.  Our first step would be to grow an olive tree for the olives..."


 Nine!  How is that even possible?  Our bold, beautiful Amalia June has been our girl now for close to a decade.  She's feisty and strong but sweet and even occasionally shy at times.  This year has been a winner for her.  Granted, a move was tough for her (the tears as we left her former school!) but she handled it well.  She was the most nervous of the crew about starting somewhere new, probably because she knew how tough it could be. But wow, she did great.  Her new environment challenged her and kept her on top of her game.  Her classroom teacher became her biggest hero. She learned so much this year--times tables, US Geography, assembly lines, acting, and how to perform to high standards. Her great-grandma Dena even got to help her practice for her States test after Christmas. She loved school every but Tuesdays since choir was NOT as easy fit for her. Don't ask how she felt about "choir attire" to church. She did really well in a new session of gymnastics even when that was all brand new too.  She continues to love to cook and bake and we've watched a lot of the Food Network together.  We love to watch her becoming more independent in such tasks but she's still my "sombrita" when at home. And she has absolutely no use for pretend play, as much as her sisters would love her too.

Speaking of sisters, she has absolutely impressed us in her role as biggest sis lately.  She delights in the twins and has immense patience for them.  She has a special relationship with each of them and they adore her. She loves to imagine what they'll be like when they grow up and how they'll relate to her.

Amalia June, you stretch us in new ways every day and make us better people just by being around. I hope to always dream as big as you do and laugh as loudly.  You are our special gift from God and the past nine years have been filled with blessings. We love you Mal-Doll!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Four Months Old

Their sisters chose their outfits for this month's photo shoot which explains why Grant is decked out in his Brewers onesie, golf cap, and new robot blanket while Everly is pretty in her most pink outfit either.  These pictures don't quite capture it but they are much happier these days and exploring a few interests.  The exersaucer was new this week and is a huge hit. We were surprised to find how quickly they learned to manipulate the toys on it. Everly has been rolling from back to tummy and then back again for several weeks now.  Mr. Chunka-Monka Grant--not so much.  But he burns a lot of calories with his grins! She weighed in at 10 pounds even at their doctor and he topped the scales at 12 lbs, 4 oz--double his birth weight! They both regularly sleep through the night (!), assuming they are swaddled into their Rock and Play's with the white noise blaring. Homebodies, for sure, they really don't do well anywhere else. But they are so sweet, we'll let them get away with anything, these two! Love them so. 

(A typical shot for these babes)

Thursday, July 02, 2015


Mali just loves the first minutes after the babies are unswaddled after naps.

Summer around here

She wore this to go play in puddles.

First Cards

I still have these on my dresser...the cards that Grandma Deni helped the big girls with after the babies were born. I just love seeing those names in that handwriting!