For friends and family: Super Saturday!!

Hey everybody! These pictures have been a long time coming!

To save time, I’m just going to put captions on them at the bottom of the pic.

Hope you enjoy!

We started out with riding horses!
We started out with riding horses!
They loved it!
They loved it!
Except for Gracie, she was too scared.
Except for Gracie, she was too scared.
Can anything make a little girl smile like that except a horse?
Can anything make a little girl smile like that except a horse?

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Next was the Barrel Train! This was a favorite from the last time we went to Super Saturday.
Next was the Barrel Train! This was a favorite from the last time we went to Super Saturday.
Gracie is riding with my sweet friend Amanda here.
Gracie is riding with my sweet friend Amanda here.
And, Mommy and Mckayla.
And, Mommy and Mckayla.
There were some really awesome bounce houses/slides. Unfortunately, on this particular one, Hope came down the way she went every single time. But Sophia had no problem bouncing around and then whooshing down!
There were some really awesome bounce houses/slides. Unfortunately, on this particular one, Hope came down the way she went up every single time. But Sophia had no problem bouncing around and then whooshing down!
We tried a cakewalk; I thought surely with all of our entries we would win something. But, we didn't. Gracie was perplexed afterwards; she kept saying, "Where's my cake? Where's my cake?"
We tried a cakewalk; I thought surely with all of our entries we would win something. But, we didn’t. Gracie was perplexed afterwards; she kept saying, “Where’s my cake? Where’s my cake?”
So we let her do the ring toss. Which ended up to be the ring pile as you will see.
So we let her do the ring toss. Which ended up to be the ring pile as you will see.

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Okay, so maybe overkill with the pictures, but it really cracked me up.
Okay, so maybe overkill with the pictures, but it really cracked me up.
The big girls really enjoyed the sand art. And yes, one of them was found broken and dumped under Mckayla's bed a few weeks later. The owner  will remain nameless.
The big girls really enjoyed the sand art. And yes, one of them was found broken and dumped under Mckayla’s bed a few weeks later. The owner will remain nameless.
And then... you'll never believe it. Gracie asked to ride the horse!!
And then… you’ll never believe it. Gracie asked to ride the horse!!
It was so cute! I was so proud of her!
It was so cute! I was so proud of her!
Happiness defined: Riding a horse while eating a fruit roll-up. She was complete.
Happiness defined: Riding a horse while eating a fruit roll-up. She was complete.
Look at this!
Look at this!
Will they go? I mean will Hope go?
Will they go? I mean will Hope go?
If this sweet girl wouldn't have taken her hand and helped her, I don't know what Hope would have done. She said, "It was very fast!" Of course, went down so fast I couldn't even get a picture.
If this sweet girl wouldn’t have taken her hand and helped her, I don’t know what Hope would have done. She said, “It was very fast!” Of course, went down so fast I couldn’t even get a picture.
Mckayla, who happily rode in the stroller. She did get to share in the treats the girls won.
Mckayla, who happily rode in the stroller. She did get to share in the treats the girls won.

All in all, it was wonderful! So thankful to the people at Paul’s school for putting on such a fun event.

Hope you’re having a good weekend!

Christie

For friends and family/Farm Day/(the motherload)/part 2

Hi again!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the first half of the pictures from our fun day at the farm. If you missed it, here’s a link:

Farm Day, part 1

Remember, (the motherload) is in the title for a reason; this is a lot of pictures! If you don’t know us, I won’t be offended at all if you go read somewhere else. This might be a little much. = )

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Here again, you see the girls in another long line…

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But this was the attraction this time!

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There were smaller lines for smaller tractors, but no-siree, they’d wanted the biggest one. (And I did, too, but the line was really long. Think small children who don’t want to get out of the tractor once they get in, and parents who are trying to reason with them that other boys and girls wanted to go, too.)

Once we got to the front wheel, we took fun pictures of the girls. The wind was blowing so I think most of them are trying to hold their hair back.

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And we finally made it!

Sophia was the first to the top, no surprise there.

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Hope looked the most like she knew how to drive.

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And Gracie tried to buckle her seat belt as soon as she got in the seat. I love when kids do things that totally surprise you!

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Then we took more pictures in the much larger back wheel. So fun!

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Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any better… they gave away free ice cream to everybody! We had so much fun sitting on hay bales and eating ice cream.

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Yum! Get it all!
Yum! Get it all!
Oops! The red vest wanted some, too. = )
Oops! The red vest wanted some, too. = )

IMG_2135IMG_2138This picture represents a nostalgic mommy moment. Hope asked if she could go throw her own ice cream carton away. I said that that would be fine, but watching her go away and stand and move around the other kids made me realize how big she is. She looked so sweet, and happy, and grown up! It made my heart happy and sad at the same time.

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What a lovely day!

Believe it or not, Mckayla was perfectly content the whole time in the stroller. I was very thankful for that. That stroller was not made to push through tall grass and barn shavings; I definitely got my workout that day! Sometimes I just picked the stroller up with her in it to get over a hump or something.

Also, there are a few pictures that I can’t find to stick in here… Sophia milking the cow, Gracie eating her ice cream, and one of all of us together. If I find them, I’ll stick them in and let you know that I did.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Thanks for reading…

Day 7: I need you

Driving by the plain of Bethsaida, near the sight of the feeding of the five thousand
Driving by the plain of Bethsaida, near the sight of the feeding of the five thousand
Synagogue at Chorazin
Synagogue at Chorazin
likely spot for the Sermon on the Mount
Near to the place of the Sermon on the Mount

If you’ve been reading my posts about the other side of the Israel trip, then you know that yesterday’s shopping trip ended up to be sort of stressful.

However, determined to have all the fun that we could have, I scheduled another shopping trip with another friend to another favorite place of mine: Goodwill. (Love to look at high-end places; buy at less than high-end places.)

Well, this trip did present me with another episode of stress; but the ending was much happier.

My girlies went with me and we were all ready and excited. My plan was that I would have the youngest sit in the child seat of my shopping cart; and my friend (who is so awesome and loves my kids) could push my two-year old in her cart. The older two do really well staying with me and I knew that they would have fun looking through stuff with us.

Hello Goodwill: bye-bye shopping cart idea. Goodwill doesn’t have carts!! At least this one. Just one more reason why I like Salvation Army better.

Anyways, it was cumbersome to carry the baby around and look at the same time, but we were not dismayed.

I ended up with some really great finds which actually felt like really small steps towards some of my goals for my home. I so want to be able to decorate my house and make it beautiful without spending much. This was really the first time that I felt like I found stuff (even looked in the right places) to start accomplishing that.

Here are my finds: Gorgeous brown sheet, bright yellow table cloth, yellow fleece scarf, gray sheet and pillowcase with white stripes, and my very favorite a sunshine mirror! All this for fourteen dollars and change.

I’m not even going to begin to tell you what I hope I can do with these, but if I ever get around to it, I’m sure I’ll be proud as a peacock and let everybody know.

When I got home, I got a text from my neighbor saying that she was so heartbroken about what had happened in Connecticut. What happened in Connecticut? I got on my computer and found out.

How trivial my thrift store finds seemed now. How could I have enjoyed such a fun, carefree time with my friend and kids when parents just like me were having their hearts ripped out?

It wasn’t okay that Paul was gone anymore. I needed him, and I needed him now. Somehow I made it through the rest of the evening with the girls. After they went to sleep, I sat on the couch in a news-induced stupor wondering if something like that would ever happen to me.

It was late when my resistance gave in and I finally went to bed.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
Bonfire by the Sea of Galilee ~ I ask you, what is cooler than that?
Bonfire by the Sea of Galilee ~ I ask you, what is cooler than that?
Jordan before flowing into Galilee
Jordan before flowing into Galilee
Jordan River
Jordan River

Have you ever had an opportunity to do something you really wanted to do, and then realized (after the fact) that you sorta squandered it?

A dear lady our family knows offered to watch the girls so I could go do something by myself. I knew just what I wanted to do: another young mom I know gets out a lot, but not often with another lady and without her kids. So she worked it out to have someone watch her kids and we went shopping at this fabulous consignment shop I had been to. (It really is fabulous! set up like a boutique; adorable, totally in style clothes; ah! I want to go back!)

Anyways, we had a great time at the shop. I am such a poky shopper. I just love to look and look and think and think and go back; then try stuff on; decide none of it will work, etc.

Seriously, anyone who will go shopping with me ought to get a Joan of Arc award.

Every now and then, though, I see something and know I want it. (That’s why I take forever all those other times, because it’s just so hard to push me over the edge to spend money on something that doesn’t wow me.)

This time, it was a yellow wool skirt. My favorite color is yellow, but this was a new shade for me; kind of like a winter yellow? Definitely with gray undertones. Mm…mmm. Big fabric-covered buttons on both sides of the waist. And it fit. And I knew I had Christmas money coming. Then I found a yellow rope necklace to go with it and the deal was done!

Well, that was the good part. I was happy. yay.

Then, we went a few other places and I realized that I didn’t have the number of the lady who was watching my kids. Was today the day she had to pick up her grandson at school? Was she upset with me for not being back sooner? My mind started to go ka-fluey. I tried to switch lanes and almost collided with a car in my blind spot. Arg.

I dropped the girl off and rushed home, worrying the entire time about whether I had stayed out too late. (small note: the lady had specifically said, “Stay as long as you want, I’m good.”) But did she mean this long? If only I had written down her number before I left. Lack of preparation: you trouble me again!

Of course, when I got home, everything was fine. She was completely reassuring that she didn’t have anywhere to be and just wanted me to have a good time. So then I went from having a good time, to worrying I had too good of a time, to wishing I had had a better time instead of worrying about yada, yada, yada.

End of story: I felt awful. Even seriously second guessed buying the yellow skirt.

Moral??? Um, if you get a chance to get out as a young mom, just remember that stress and trouble and yourself will go with you even when your children do not. Always have a phone number to call your babysitter; even if you think you’ve had it previously (I did) check again, your nerves will thank you. And try to have a good time.

Oh yes, I did try to recount this pitiful tale to my husband who was halfway across the world on the most exciting and engaging trip of his life…via email. He better like that yellow skirt. = ) 

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

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Moat built by crusaders at Caesarea Maritima
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Gate built by Solomon at Megiddo
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First century rolling stone tomb

We go to a big church. I love our church. Today, it was incumbent on me to get myself and my four small daughters to church alone.

The prospect of getting four little girls up and out the door early might sound daunting, but I wasn’t really worried about it. Deep down, I know what it takes to get places ready and on time; I just get lazy and leave things ’til the last minute and then pull out the old, “but I’ve got four little kids!” excuse.

Anyways, times like this I realize I’m going to have to be on my game and what do you know? Things normally turn out fine.

***Interpretation of everything I just said for a male: Everything went fine getting the girls and I to church.***

I dropped them all off at their respective nurseries and classes and headed upstairs to our adult Bible fellowship. Our room is at the end of a long hallway opposite of the stairs. Walking past people, it seemed that everyone had someone to talk to. Of course, people said hi and everything, but it was the first time I really felt alone.

I sat and learned and talked to people and everything like normal, but it was all so un-normal because Paul wasn’t there. I guess you don’t know what a privilege someone’s presence is until it’s gone.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light