Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Spring Happenings (including lots of baseball!)

A few other fun spring events:

Grant started baseball--and even wore his uniform to bed the day before a game
We hosted the Ryans for a visit (and played baseball!)

The guys went on a Boys' Club camping trip and Grant caught dinner!

The girls and I went to two fun weddings!

And more baseball!  We took the twins to a disappointing Brewers game, but still managed to have fun/

Carrigan Grace--Confirmed in Christ

We celebrated Carrigan's confirmation at our church this May.  What a joyous day!  It was especially meaningful for to us to have her godparents as well as family and friends there to celebrate with her. It was very different than Mali and Brinnly's COVID-era confirmation! The church service was beautiful and and we thankful for the beautiful sunshine that allowed an outside party back at our house.  Our hearts were so full!

Carrigan's confirmation verses:  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

Friday, April 28, 2023

Samin and capers

A text Grant sent to Giga for a breakfast request when she was on her way here…the boy loves his bagel toppings!

Friday, March 03, 2023

2023 so far

 We have a winter full of kids' activities, snow days, and other fun so far this year.  A few highlights:

Jonathan took Carrigan, Delaney, and Grant skiing!  It was a perfect winter day.

He also took the big girls for a college visit to University of Minnesota.  Great trip and both the university and the city impressed them.

The younger kids and I took advantage of our Milwaukee Public Museum membership while they were gone. We have never seen the butterflies SO active!

Jonathan and I also fit in a date night thanks to Bucks tickets for a work event for him.  Amazing seats!

He also had a "date night" with the younger girls at the BCS Daddy-Daughter dance! 

Delaney won the fifth grade prize for the Pinewood Derby!  It was SO fun to hear all of her friends chanting "watermelon, watermelon!" for her car in the race. (It was designed to look like a watermelon)
Her basketball season came to an end after lots of hard effort by all of the players. The girls encouraged each other each step of the way.  Their little brothers provided much entertainment as well.
Carrigan's basketball season also came to a close after our favorite CSI tournament. It was a great group of girls and they had fun together, even if most of them would have rather been on the volleyball court. Her very last play of her basketball career featured an impressive jump for a successful rebound. 
Carrigan then hopped in the car with her dad and they drove to Pittsburgh for the weekend!  They attended a funeral for a dear man--a pastor at our church there and also spent time catching up with our wonderful friends there. 
We had a quick trip to Michigan the next weekend and that included the annual guys' hunting outing!

Friday, December 30, 2022

Year-End Update

 Merry Fifth Day of Christmas!  What a joy-filled year we have had!  I'm including our Christmas card updates and pictures as well pictures from our visit to Michigan.  We avoided the blizzard and had a wonderful time catching up with everyone there. 

Ward Family 2022 Highlights

The Ward family is thankful to report that we continue to be happily settled in our jobs, schools, neighborhood,

and church. For a family that has moved as often as we have, that is certainly a blessing! 

Amalia (16) had a great school swim season, but her favorite experience in 2022 was getting her driver’s license. 

She’s a willing chauffeur for her siblings’ activities and occasional Target run. 

She also stays busy working at Cafe Hollander and will be pole vaulting again during the track season.

Brinnly (15) now works at Chick-Fil-A and is an expert at responses such as “My pleasure”!  We are also grateful that she can usually be convinced to bake brownies when she’s not working. One of her best 2022 memories was getting up on water skis on her first try.  She’s also willing to occasionally run with her mom to stay in shape for her relay races this track season.

Carrigan (13) played on two volleyball teams this fall and gave her elbow and knee pads a lot of use!

It was fun for all of us to celebrate her teams’ wins as conference and bracket champions. 

She is appreciating all of the 8th grade traditions this year and will also be confirmed this spring at our church.

Delaney (11) became the first Ward kid to ever break a bone this year–a broken finger! 

Thankfully it healed in plenty of time for her to try both volleyball and basketball this year and

she’s looking forward to track this spring. She also has fun biking with her friends and visiting the local custard shop. 

 Everly (7) continues to love school and especially enjoys being in a different second grade class than her brother. 

She did great trying a tennis camp in July and then spent most of the rest of summer in the pool. 

Her favorite things now are crafts, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and playdates with friends. 

Grant (7) played soccer, baseball, and flag football this year –

all of which turned into tackle football/wrestling matches either on or off the field.

He loved each experience as well as going to football games with Jonathan both at

University of Wisconsin and Notre Dame this fall. He was also a convincing Harry Potter for Halloween!

Jonathan and Kaethe are both grateful for our time spent by the pool and fire pit at home this year. 

They each had opportunities to combine friends and running this year too. 

Jonathan did an overnight trail group race in Northern Michigan in June and

Kaethe and her friends did a 50-mile relay run through Door County, Wisconsin in October. 

The beautiful scenery definitely made the miles a bit easier!

We had our annual Shunkwiler lake house vacation complete with fishing, boating, and tubing,

as well as the 75th annual Tucker family reunion in Northern Michigan.

We hiked and kayaked again at Devil’s Lake State Park with Grandma Deni in July

and had a great time on our first (8 mile!) family canoe trip together with her.

Our final summer trip was a family vacation to Boston and New England with lots of great sightseeing opportunities.

Finally, we had a quick trip to Pittsburgh for a wedding in November

and it was wonderful to catch up with friends there. (If only our Steelers gave us more to cheer for this year!)

We are thankful this year and every Christmas for the opportunity to rejoice in the birth of our Savior and to connect with family and friends near and far.  May God richly bless you and yours in 2023!

Monday, October 31, 2022

It's been a while! (2+ years!)

 Hello!  The Ward family is back online!  I hadn't been to stop posting for so long but obviously 2020 was an unusual year and then life became even busier than ever. But recently Brinnly has been looking through the earlier blog posts and enjoyed seeing the pictures especially.  She asked me to start blogging again so the twins could have documentation of this stage of their life just like the older girls do.

So what have we been up to?  A lot!  Namely, we moved!  (Yes, again!)  Not too far this time--literally a mile away into a different city, county, and school district.  Mali had been asking for this move for quite some time which would allow her to go to high school with the friends she had made when she transferred schools in 7th grade.  At first we thought there was no way it could happen--but Covid clarified a lot of things for us and one day while we were on a walk during the shutdown we came up with the idea of moving into this city while renting out the house we had been living in.

House hunting was tricky during Covid but God answered our prayers. We had specifically prayed for a move into this school district but high on my wish list too was a swimming pool, and a neighborhood friend for Grant.  We had two offers declined on houses (not with pools!) and then found a house in my favorite neighborhood, and literally while we we were walking through the yard during the showing and admiring the in-ground pool--I heard the laughter of a dad and a son Grant's age playing nerf guns next door.  A few days later we were on vacation with Grandma Deni and we received the news that our bid was accepted for that house.  We moved in the week before school started for the younger kids and while there has been a ton of work involved to make the house into our home, it has been a wonderful move. (Spoiler alert--the boy next door is now a dear friend of both Grant and Everly!)

Here's a video of the kids' first jump into our pool--less than an hour after we signed the closing paperwork:

I'll post more individual updates on everyone soon but we're doing very well and grateful to look back to see all of the blessings God has provided over the past two years. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Five! Five!

With all of the chaos of the spring, I haven't even posted the twins' birthday post yet.  Our "babies" turned five on March 9th!  What an experience the past five years has been!  Having twins really amplifies all of these milestones and it is such a blessing to watch each of them grow and develop.

Everly really enjoyed PreK this year and interacting with her teachers and friends.  She was sad to not see them regularly after school ended but also enjoyed having extra time at home with her big sisters.  Her personality is as determined as ever and she lights up each of us with her sweet compliments. She loves audio books, learning to read, playing outside, singing songs, and scary stories. Her favorite food ever is chili and she asks for it daily.  She would happily wear pink and purple every day. She is great on her bike and loves racing around the cul-de-sac with Grant. She is her brother's greatest defender and the two of them are partners in crime.  She delights us with her one-of-a-kind attitude and we are so glad she's our girl.

Grant continues to be our rough and tumble boy.  He tolerated school mainly for the chance to play with the other boys there and to knock down blocks there.  He did love his teachers and reading stories there also.  He's not a big fan of rules in general--school or otherwise.  He cracks us up with his silliness. He loves the specific colors of dark green and light red.  His favorite toys are fire trucks, remote control vehicles, and anything sports-related.  His current goal is to eat a jalapeno at each meal so he gets used to the spice.  (He also loves cereal, broccoli soup, and chocolate in any form).  We just love his sweet hugs and everything else about our boy.

We had a a wonderful time celebrating their birthday in Michigan with our family there and were especially grateful we were able to fit in their party before the stay-at-home orders started.

Last Day of School

It looked so different than usual so I wanted to capture our last day of school for 2019-2020:
Last PreK Zoom meeting

Closing Chapel via Zoom

Last Day of 5th Grade

Last Day of Second Grade (Delaney did most of her school work from a station in our bedroom)

Last Day of Seventh Grade

Last Day of Eighth Grade! 

She's in high school now!
Mali's class organized a class parade to thank her wonderful teachers.  The kids were so excited to decorate the cars and then climb through the sun roofs!