Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hammond's Candy

IMG_0309.jpgBack in June we provided respite for our foster children's sisters, so they stayed with us for the week.  Our house was crammed full with 11 children, and had so much fun! 
IMG_0291.jpgHammond's candies is a local candy company here in Denver. They have a free tour that attracts many people for a visit.
IMG_0294.jpgIt's a pretty intriguing process to watch. The children loved it.
IMG_0302.jpgAfter the tour everyone got a piece of broken candy and time to expore the store.
IMG_0329With the tour being short and sweet we decided to head to the park on our way home. Can you believe these foster children have never been to the park?
IMG_0325Living in Colorado we're spoiled with several nice parks filled with not only a playground, but also rock climbing.
IMG_0327These kids got along so well that it was almost easier having 11 children than just 6 of my own. Scary isn't it?
IMG_0322There's something about monkey bars that everyone just loves. We could have stayed at the park all day, except that everyone was getting hungry.

Monday, July 21, 2014


_MG_6371.jpgOn Pentecost our oldest daughter, Rebecca, was confirmed. It was a glorious day!
I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 1 Timothy 1:18b-19

_MG_6395.jpgShe received communion for the first time.
It looks like we will have confirmation celebrations for the next 6 years, God willing. They are all studious in studying their catechism and the memory program has helped to encourage them along the way. Thanks be to God! 
_MG_6310.jpgRebecca's godparents, Ryan and Sara, made a quick pit stop on their way home from visiting family. Unfortunately, they couldn't attend her confirmation because Ryan, being a pastor as well, had confirmation at his own church on the very same Sunday. We're glad they were able to stop by and visit with us!

Friday, July 18, 2014

10 in 10: Part 3

IMG_0898.jpgLast Sunday we were visited by Professor Ludwig, who has been teaching in Siberia, Russia. It was such a joy to hear a sermon from him. 
IMG_4462.jpgAfter church, he gave a presentation on his work in Siberia. 
IMG_4465.jpgWe came home for quick lunch of Melius pancakes and waffles.
IMG_4468.jpgI shot a short video during Professor Ludwig's presentation. It's nice that Patricia and I have matching Macs. I was able to share the video by dragging and dropping.
IMG_4472.jpgLegos are a staple in our home, and they get played with daily, by everyone.
IMG_4475.jpgMy Lutheran Stud and 7 children packed up to go camping for a few nights.
IMG_4479.jpgThey went with a friends from church. The girls are ready to go.
IMG_4482.jpgAfter they left the two little girls and I headed over to the Sampers house for dinner and cocktails!
IMG_4484.jpgHere's Carlos the grill master. The chicken was fantastic!
IMG_4485.jpgLittle Immanuel is going to be a pastor someday.  That's what he told his mother. He prays like nobody's business. There you have it! That's my 10 in 10 or maybe it was in 12. ;) You can't win 'em all, can you? Until next time. . .

Thursday, July 17, 2014

7 in 13 or so: Part 2

IMG_0868.jpgOur children wake up at different times in the morning, so it's a fend-for-yourself breakfast in our home. I like my beauty sleep, so often times I come downstairs and they're all done eating. The younger children love to color and do workbook work. They usually get that stuff out while I'm cleaning up breakfast or still waking up. 
_MG_6523.jpgSwimming lessons is a daily thing around right now. Our little ones have been having so much fun!
IMG_0885.jpgYou requested some cupcakes right, DeAnn? Here you go! I was asked to make Snickerdoodle  and Strawberry-Lemonade cupcakes for a church member's 85th birthday party. Yum! 
IMG_0886.jpgAfter I finished the cupcakes I had some antsy children, so we headed to our neighborhood pool. I love watching the little ones because they've become more daring in working on their swimming skills in the little pool. Our time at the pool ended when the wind started picking up and it was getting cold for me, who wasn't even swimming.
_MG_6527.jpgWe made it home just in time. Within an hour of getting home from the pool it began to downpour.  Our street flooded and our basement window began leaking. Ugh! I made Thomas run outside just to get this photo for you.
IMG_0894.jpgWith dinner time fast approaching we began our weekly ritual of pizza night. I make all the dough, and the kids pick and choose their own toppings, and make the pizzas.
IMG_0897.jpgFriday nights are also movie and ice cream night. We've been trying to choose older movies that we used to enjoy as children. It's been fun to watch old movies with the kids.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My 8 in 12 or Something Like That

My friend, Adriane, challenged me and some other ladies to take 10 photos in 10 hours, so we could get a peek into each other's days. It seemed easy enough until I, aka Camera Jan, kept failing to snap photos. I tried to complete this task for several days, so now I'm going to be giving you a peek into a few of our days from this past week. By the end of all of my posts, you'll wish you never asked, Adriane. ;) (Secretly, I am glad that you asked, Adriane, because I do enjoy seeing your days, ladies. It makes me wish wish we all lived closer and could see each other more.)
IMG_0825.jpgWe were fortunate to get the youngest 5 kids in swimming lessons together. They've had so much fun and now have little fear of the water. It's like private lessons for my children!
IMG_0832.jpgRight next to swimming lessons a Panera just opened. This can be quite dangerous since lessons are finished just around lunch time. On this day, I picked up lunch for myself and my Lutheran Stud.
IMG_0835.jpgAfter lunch we all get to do a bunch of chores.  Aren't those vacuum lines beautiful?
IMG_0839.jpgThe youngest 5 then take afternoon naps and the rest of us have finish schoolwork or have quiet time.
IMG_0845.jpgWe had company rolling into town for the evening, so Rachel was getting our guest room set up. She loves helping with this stuff when people come to stay with us.
IMG_0848.jpgThere's nothing better than having a fresh hot cookie as an afternoon snack. Am I right? They're pretty great as a midnight snack too!
On this particular evening we had a foster care training session. They served dinner, so I was off the hook for cooking that evening.
IMG_0849.jpgLater that night the Clemmers arrived and we enjoyed a night cap while catching up! There you have it. Here's to a small peek into our day. Stay tuned for a few more posts because I have a ton of photos to share now. ;)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Double Digits

_MG_6198.jpgAs May was quickly coming to an end we celebrated Rachel's 10th birthday! 
_MG_6166.jpgSince the zoo has some fun free goodies on your birthday, Rachel was pretty excited to make a visit. When we arrived we noticed that this massive hippo, which normally never leaves his little pond, was on a mission. 
_MG_6174.jpgHe was chasing little ducklings which then jumped into his pond. They were swimming away so happily.
_MG_6177.jpgI believe the hippo felt like they were invading his territory, so he made a mad dash back into his pond. While I've never seen a hippo move so quickly, those ducklings made a faster getaway. It was a pretty incredible sight to behold. The duckilngs got away and the crowd cheered.
_MG_6183.jpgAfter quite the show from the hippo we headed over to feed the Lorikeets. These birds seem to be on a daily sugar high from the continual feeding of the sugar water mixture.
_MG_6189.jpgThey do tend to fly away when they've had too much though, so maybe not a sugar high? I think when they're full they like to climb to higher ground and hide, but tall parents always find them.
_MG_6217.jpgThere's something about flamingoes isn't there? It takes talent to stand on such a skinny little leg. When you've got two why only use one?
_MG_6213.jpgThe gorillas were also on the move climbing and checking out the crowd. How would you like to run into that guy in a forest?
_MG_6230.jpgBirthdays also include a free ride on the carousel and when the children are under a certain height they get to ride free too! The children have so much fun on this thing that just makes me dizzy and throws off my equilibrium.
IMG_0210This little mama's girl would rather hang out with me than ride the carousel. How sweet is she?
_MG_6248.jpgThis elegphant was on a mission to move a massive tree trunk. It must be similar to children throwing a ball around.
After a small storm blew in we decided we should head home and keep the party going. I finished Rachel's cupcakes while she licked the frosting. _MG_6264.jpgI found a fun little cupcake book at the library called Trophy Cupcakes. Rachel thumbed through it and decided she wanted Bananas Foster cupcakes. 
_MG_6277.jpgThe cupcakes were fantastic and we had a blast celebrating our new 10 year old's birthday!