Friday, July 28, 2017

July, So Far

 We've been busy!  We started the month with a road trip to Michigan...
 Construction on the drive has been awful, but at least it gave us the chance to find a new favorite Chinese restaurant in Indiana!
 We celebrated the Fourth of July at Aunt Grace's house with a lovely view of the impressive Baroda fireworks.  Love this tradition!
 And the next day we went on our annual camping trip to Indiana Dunes.  The big girls set up their own tent!  They are always so proud of the decorations Grandma Deni bring to our site.

 We had lots of fun geocaching, hiking, swimming, and cooking yummy camp food. The weather was perfect until rain on the last night, so we packed up early and instead had our maple bacon pancakes at Aunt Kara's house.
 These two stayed in Michigan the first two nights but joined us for fun the last day.

 A few days later we came back to Michigan for Aunt Pam to visit!  And the annual "Cousins' Day" while she was in town. My mom's cousin's son took some amazing pictures that day that I need to link to this blog.

 Whenever Aunt Pam is around, there's always a conga line.
 I guess Grant was tired so Everly pulled him home.  They've been loving playing outside!
And we had a pet for a week!  The preschool guinea pig, "Pumpernickel", visited us for a few days. The twins loved him. Grant was reading him a bedtime story in this shot.

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.