Monday, April 8, 2013

Our Spring Break with A

We were very blessed to have A here for her Spring Break.  Since I have gotten behind on blogging...the dates she was here were March 21- March 30, 2013.

She came in late Thursday night.  Oh my!  The kids were all so excited to see each other!  J and A are seriously like two peas in a pod.  They are so much alike and they just love each other to pieces.  They can play pretend together all day long.  Here they are when they first got to see each other again:  so happy!

 This picture is one of my very favorites ever.  Two of my girls.  So beautiful.  V spit up on A almost immediately after this picture and A had to change her clothes last minute right before church.  :(

 My sister and her family love to see A too.  They invited us up to their home for a super yummy dinner.  This picture has all nine of my parents' grandkids in one place.  We keep telling them they should move to Texas!
And...of course (for those that wanted to)....the silly face picture!

 Then, on Monday (March 25), A and I walked in to see this:  look what Dad did!  But, V loved it!  It almost made me want to buy another tomato cage and hang toys off of it.  V thought it was so much fun!
 A and I surprised J and went to eat lunch with him early in the week.  I am so glad we did, since I got super duper sick later in the week.  Monday I already felt pretty bad, but I thought it would be just a little cold, so I was up and doing. 
 V took this picture of herself.  I think it is fun to see her in the mirror with the camera.
 Tuesday, Dad and I took A and V out for pizza.  I had had A make a list of things she wanted to accomplish for her Spring Break.  I promised her we would do at least the top five.  Pizza was one of them.  I think we did the top Nine or so.  It worked well since it gave us both something to focus on.

Here is V in her high chair.  She is such a big girl.
 One of our family goals this year was to do something outdoors together as a family every other week.  We do it on Thursdays.  This Thursday, A got to choose.  They ended up going to the park.  I was pretty sick and didn't join them, but sent K with my camera to document it. 
 Also on Thursday, A and the Easter Bunny made an appearance in our home.  He "brought" eggs for Dad and I to hide.  Since he doesn't usually get invited, this was a special experience in J's life.  I thought A's role in it would be obvious, but it wasn't and J ran around saying, "He came!  He came!  The Easter Bunny came!"  It was pretty cute.

 Since there wasn't any school on Friday, J and A finally got to sleep in the tent that they made earlier in the week.  I wouldn't let them when J had to go to school, but Thursday they got to be together.  I am so grateful that we had Friday off.  It is hard for all the kids to spend time together and this gave us an unexpected family day.  I am so grateful.
 As part of that unexpected family day, we took the kids to IHOP for brunch.  So did a million other families on Good Friday.  We did have to wait a while, but all the kids were good sports and waiting wasn't too bad.
 We also went as a family Friday afternoon and toured the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Pretty cool.

Friday night, A and K, C, and J had to say good-bye before K, C, and J went to their dad's.  It was hard.  I am so glad that they love each other.  I am so glad for the relationships they share.  But...those great relationships is precisely what makes it difficult to say good-bye.  It is so tough.

Below is A saying good-bye to V Saturday morning.  I intentionally took the picture where you could not see the anguish and the tears on A's face.  It is enough to know they were there.  A and I both cried too.  I am so grateful that she loves me as one of her moms.  I love her just as much as the children I have birthed.  I am lucky indeed.  I am so glad that I like A's mom.  It would be nearly impossible to send her back without the knowledge that she is loved and taken care of there also.

Our family is NOT ideal.  We do not have the traditional (and best) family with a mom and dad and all their kids living under one roof.  Nope.  That is not what we have.  But, we do have a family with a mom and dad that are sealed in the temple of God, that love each other and each one of their children with a fierce love, and that pray for each other and all five children daily.  We do have a family with three daughters and two sons that love each other unconditionally, that would do anything to help each other, and that do not worry about the differences in last names.  We do have a family where the mom and dad teach their children about Jesus Christ, about right and wrong, and about repentance and forgiveness.  Truly, we do not have the ideal, but truly we are so very blessed!

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