Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Kiera!

At the end of February, Kiera was able to celebrate her 7th birthday. Back in the Fall, we had purchased a Groupon for 2 nights at the local Ramkota hotel that has a water park with it. We decided to save this and use it for Kiera's birthday. Since we were swimming for her birthday, she wanted a swimming pool cake. It was actually a very easy cake and I was happy with how it turned out. Kiera invited some friends to swim one of the evenings and then the second day she had her cousin Eli come and spend the day swimming with her. All the kids had a blast swimming and there were always tears when it was time to quit. We had an enjoyable weekend as a family and all had a great time swimming! Enjoy the pictures!

All 3 kids LOVED the slide!

Taking a break to refuel (with cousin Eli)

Cool dude Joel

Crazy Caleb

Kiera's school party

Opening gifts at the family party with Grandpa and Grandma.

Where have we been???

Wow! I can't believe that I haven't  posted since the boys birthday! I guess time flies when you are having fun. Christmas came and went in its usual busyness and then we got back to school which always comes with its own version of crazy.  Now it's March and I can't believe it's almost over too! Here are some of the highlights of the past few months:

1. In January Kiera participated in her class spelling bee and made it to the finals. She didn't end up placing but performed very well. We were so proud of her!
2. January also brought us to our annual school Carnival which the kids love attending. They came home with lots of loot, candy, and smiles...not to mention the HUGE sheet cake we won at the cake walk. They aren't huge cake eaters but managed to snag the largest cake there. Nice.
3. January 21 was Ryan's birthday which we had fun celebrating. It was fun to help him add to his model train project that he has been working on all winter.
4. February was our usual routine of church praise team (Ryan on bass and I on piano), nursery duties, story hour leading, and Ryan's youth group duties.
5. Ryan took the high school group on their annual winter retreat and it was a very uplifting spiritual experience for everyone. He was very pleased with how it went this year.
6. While Ryan was at his retreat, I took the kids up to my sister Tami's in Cloquet, MN. We had a TON of fun! We ice skated, went sledding, played lots of games, and basically held down the couches from floating away. It was super relaxing and so nice to actually all be healthy together!
7. By the time we returned from Cloquet, it was time to get ready for Kiera's birthday. I will write more about this later.
8. Kiera also had reading week at her school the last week of February. We were very proud of her reading and she won the most minutes of her class! This mom is very happy to have another reader in the family!

The same weekend that we celebrated Kiera's birthday, I received some very sad news that my Grandfather DeGroot had passed away. His health had been failing the past few years and the Lord decided it was time to take him home. My sister Tami and I were able to get last minute Amtrak tickets and head to WA for the funeral. It was a bittersweet time. It was very difficult to say good-bye to Grandpa, but very comforting to know that he was not in pain any longer. It was a ton of fun to see all my relatives that came. We had a wonderful time remembering Grandpa and celebrating his life together.

I also got the added bonus of meeting my newest niece, Kaiya! What an amazing baby she is! She is so good and it was so fun to cuddle her. It was also fun to see all my other nieces and nephews out there and be able to spend time with my family.

Life has definitely been busy these past few months but we rest in the fact that He is always in control and is always with us through the joys and the sorrows. Great is His Faithfulness!

The gorgeous view from my parent's house...the Olympic Mt. range, ocean, and green, green, green! I miss it all so much!
My newest sweet niece Kaiya...what a doll!