Sunday, July 26, 2009

New furry friend

A family at church was giving away baby Guinea Pigs....It's been quite a while since our last one died, so when they called us to ask if we'd like one, we decided to jump at the chance (especially because when we've seen them at pet stores lately, they've been $30 or more). Anyway, this is our newest family member. Smokey isn't too sure what to think...he took a swipe at him when we introduced them.

He doesn't have a name yet, as we thought Paul and Miranda should give us some input first.

***Update: after much debate, we had it down to Squeaky, Benny (my personal favorite because that's what Sonya called him--the "Benny Pig" and Spongebob (which was Sonya's suggestion). Well, we couldn't agree, so we put those 3 names in a bowl.....and drew out Spongebob....but at that point, Sonya had lost interest and gone we re-drew because none of us really wanted Spongebob....when we re-drew, it was Squeaky....So, Squeaky it is!!!

Special day

Paul and Miranda are staying with their cousins in Colorado this week, so we thought we'd do something fun with Olivia and Sonya. And it really was fun!

We went to a free park that has sprinklers coming out of various places, as well as lots of the usual park stuff...we had taken the big kids there several years ago, back when Olivia was just a baby.

Here they are drying off by some statues.

We also went to a children's museum. Here's Chef Sonya...

And Olivia the farmer...

Princess Olivia

Sonya was pretty smiley all day long.

Olivia makes a strong impression...
Sonya headed straight for the little car when we got there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The hills were alive, with the sound of music (Hills Alive 2009)

Well, I say it every year, but Hills Alive was great again....if you're ever looking for a FREE music festival the 3rd weekend of July, head up to Rapid City, SD.

One highlight was that I got to spend the weekend with Mary Jo, one of my closest friends. We camped next to her and her family, as well as some other families from their church in the sandhills.

Here are Paul and Miranda looking pretty darn pumped about seeing Mt. Rushmore....again.....we took a high school girl with us, and she'd never seen it, so we made the trip. I guess I'm more easily amazed than they are, but every time I go there I'm again reminded of what a feat it was to carve something like 4 faces in the side of a mountain.

Ok, even if downhere was the only group that was performing, we would have gone! They are our favorites!!! And they did not disappoint....they sound at least as good in concert, which is incredible. I could go on and on, but I've talked about them in a couple of other posts. I'll just say this...if you haven't discovered them, you should check out their site, download a few songs, and just get to know this incredible band!
Jason Germain--co-lead vocalist

Glenn Lavender--bass/trumpet (wow on the trumpet!!)

Marc Martel--co-lead vocalist (think Freddy Mercury...check him out on youtube)

And, oh wow!!!! This was a dream-come-true!!! We got to meet them backstage, thanks to a friend of mine in Chadron. We actually got to talk with them for a bit and everything! It was sooo cool.

Here we are with the whole band (the guy next to Aaron is their drummer, Jeremy Thiessen...didn't get a good shot of him during the concert). I LOVE this picture!


Another favorite group of ours...Newworldson. These guys are truly talented...kind of a blend of jazz/blues/rock. I love their sound.

Newworldson at the autograph table.

Avalon....great harmonies, and it was fun to hear them because I know most of their songs.

I didn't get any pictures of Big Daddy Weave or Kutless....but the headliner was Casting Crowns, and of course they were great. This is one of their female singers, singing a song we do in worship team, "Praise you with the dance." I kind of think we look alike, but maybe that's just me. I wish my camera did a little better, especially when it's dark.

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. He was so down-to-earth, and related very well to the audience. You can tell this group is very sincere in its efforts to reach people, especially youth.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The 4th

We had a pretty fun 4th this year! On Friday, we went over to Imperial to watch their fireworks show, which is always really good. Then, last night we had supper with some other families at Marty and Renee's house. The weather, food, and fellowship were all wonderful!

I decided to get semi-creative with my's basically a fruit pizza...and it came from a cookbook, so I guess I'm not sure how creative it was! (and, yes, I do know that there are supposed to be 13 stripes...they wouldn't fit)

Sonya LOVED the sparklers! She would run around with them, squealing and laughing and having a grand old time.

Paul and Miranda helped with some of the lighting this year, as they were the "big kids" of the group. I like Maycee's expression in the backgroud, which is why I didn't want to crop her out :)

Olivia and Sonya, with their friends Kendra and Maycee. This was probably the only time that all 4 of them sat still for more than 10 seconds!

Friday, July 03, 2009

A few more from the weekend...

My mom took these...the first with her tripod, obviously.

My brothers and I

Olivia was really brave!

Smiles from the 2 big the same time!

Tyler and Jaedon, Sonya and I

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Weekend at Chadron State Park

We got together with my parents and my brothers and their kids at Chadron State Park this past weekend. Here are a few of the pictures I be honest, I wasn't really in a picture-taking mood. I guess there are times when I'd rather just enjoy the moment, rather than constantly running to find my camera...only to find that the kids have moved on to something different in the meantime. Besides what you see in these pictures, we went swimming a couple of times, took some hikes, and went on paddle boats. It was a great, memorable weekend.

Tyler (my older brother) relaxing.

My dad....probably watching his seven grandkids with amusement...and thinking, "whew, I'm glad their parents get to deal with them!"

Grandma gave Paul and Miranda a marshmallow shooter...could be dangerous.

Jaedon waiting for his turn in Twister (if you ever need a good laugh, find 5 preschoolers to play was interesting, to say the least)

Miranda takes her turn w/the marshmallow shooter.

Olivia found ways to entertain Gabe.

Miranda is pretty much unbeatable at this game...especially when the other players are still struggling to keep their right and left straight!

Is it my turn yet???


The kids did some tree climbing...with a little help from Uncle Tyler and Uncle Perry.

The 3 little girls got fun purses from Grandma.

Pretty girls!


Sonya enjoyed blowing bubbles. What kid doesn't?