Wednesday, July 23, 2008

13 and counting...

July 23, 2008

Eva-Marie Frances is now a teenager. Although, she says she is not. In her mind, a teenager means 14 or 15. In other words, a teenager is a high school student. Well, for Robert and I... Evie is now a teenager...age 13!

Eva-Marie is an amazing girl full of spunk, imagination, laughter, very zany, thoughtful, serious, lively. She is definitely one who does not want her picture taken. Albeit, pictures are taken to her abhorrence.
Evie loves to hang out with her friends which by the way, her friends are terrific girls. Evie does use good judgment. This wonderful, amazing girl also loves to listen to music, play video games and swim.

My eldest daughter has a way with words. She writes very well and her style of writing gives itself to a pleasurable read. Evie uses wit within her writings in such a natural and fun way. Her drawings also lend themselves to revealing her wit and her serious side of nature.

Eva-Marie Frances is 13 years old... a teenage girl who lends herself to teenage challenges for us as her parents. Challenges? The challenges of being assertive, thought provoking with her words and ideas with us...she also reveals to us all her many moods and the depth into which these moods can go - joy, anger, sadness, feeling on unjust, wit...

Eva-Marie Frances is a child of such blessing. Robert and I would be void of unique depth, joy and mystery if Evie was not placed into our lives. God certainly knows what he is doing!

Happy 13th Birthday Eva-Marie!

We love you Evie!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Five years comes and goes quickly!

July 15, 2008

Isaiah John is now a 5 year old! My goodness, where has my little boy gone? Actually, he still is our little boy...our little man!

Isaiah is certainly a boy of love, kindness, helpfulness, caring, daring, sprightly, strong, vigorous, zippy nature who loves animals, airplanes, rockets, motorcycles ( a new thing that I am certainly not encouraging), construction vehicles, playing with balls (golfing, batting, throwing, kicking), being outdoors and playing his guitar.

Isaiah's greatest passion of the summer is swimming! The boy loves to swim! He started the summer very much afraid to go into the pool long enough get his face wet. His older sister, Elizabeth, forced the issue and man did Isaiah take off! The child (while wearing his floaty swimming suit) now jumps into the pool where his head goes under water. He swims around the pool constantly. When I say swim I mean the boy goes forward while on his belly kicking his feet and somewhat utilizing his arms in a swimming stroke. He is very good in propelling himself around. Matter of fact, he is becoming pretty quick that he could play a good game of tag. This little man is in the pool on a daily basis regardless of the weather. Swimming is one of the activities that he wants to do very soon after waking in the morning. Yep, I think swim lessons are in order for our fabulous Isaiah. Now to find a place who can provide the appropriate instruction for him.

So...all of our children are a gift from God and an incredible blessing to us. Isaiah, he is a bit more of a challenge and at times we think... Geesh God, you must think we are pretty adapt to be able to raise a terrific boy who needs some special attention because goodness...there are times that we are exhausted, overwhelmed and truly beyond ourselves. The thing is God then starts to laugh and say "Why yes, of coarse you and Robert are the perfect parents for Isaiah. Look at that little man and that wonderful sparkle in his eyes." We look and see that sparkle and much more beyond... his glorious smile, his terrific laugh and man oh man...his incredible way of being lovey with us and his siblings - most particular with Grace and Elizabeth. We look and see how wonderful and great Elizabeth is with Isaiah. How the other children have and continue to learn the virtue of patience and forgiveness. How Grace just absolutely adores Isaiah and is his complete little shadow. Grace is such a wonderful playmate for our special little man. If anyone was or has ever questioned us having 6 children ....well...take a look at Grace...she is a blessing beyond measure...she is a blessing for Isaiah.

Isaiah's 5th birthday was spent at a beach on Lake Michigan, fun in our pool and a family party where of coarse the cake was made by Grandma.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July Celebration

We spent our afternoon and evening enjoying ourselves at the 4th of July Celebration held at the Great Lakes Naval Station.

Robert has been talking about going to the base for 4th of July over the last 2 weeks. I was hesitant because I was worried about it being way too crowded as this was the first time in 7 years that the base was opened up to the general public for the celebration. Robert persisted. Seeing that this was important to him (Knight Rangers was performing) we went.

I am so very glad that we went. It was a great time. I really think that everyone involved (MWR and the Naval base) did a terrific job. The afternoon was great fun. There was carnival, kid activity booths, food, live music, booths that represented the different services.
The best part - probably the stands where the different services were showing different aspects of their service. The music was good. I really did enjoy the Naval band that played right before the fireworks.

The crowds? It turned out that it was a nice area to move around in. It did not become overly crowded until the time for the fireworks.

The fireworks? Oh my, they were fantastic. The display was great and music was being played which helped with the ambiance so to speak. Isaiah was incredibly fascinated by the fireworks for about the first 10 minutes. Robert and I agree, the fireworks then became too much for him. As if, it was too much input. Even so, he did great. Grace? She liked them but really was disinterested for most of the time. The girls enjoyed them. Ben? He did not stay with us for the fireworks. Mom, Darcy, Alan,Sarah and Samantha were with us. Sarah was a bit frightened at first but warmed up. I found myself thinking of how fitting it was to watch the fireworks with music at the Navy base. Truly, it was fitting. Oh yes, they did play Proud to Be an American by Lee Greenwood. Oh yes, that song I have heard many times before while in the Navy. Very fitting to hear it played while watching the fireworks.

This was a very enjoyable event!! This 4th of July is now part of some my most memorable 4th of Julys - several Great America fireworks when I was a kid, Door County summer of 1998, Doane and Racheli's wedding celebration combo 2002?and now this one!

I am very glad that we went to the 4th of July Celebration at the Great Lakes Naval Station.

When we first arrived, we staked out our firework viewing site. Notice all the space that surrounds will not be that way by 830pm.

Carnival rides was part of the event. Of coarse, we spent some money for the children to take a few rides. Grace loved riding the cars.
Isaiah loved riding the cars at first but as you can see...towards the end all he wanted was off...he was crying. Poor kiddo.
Robert, Ben, Isaiah and Grace watching the girls enjoy a ride.

Walking around the different service stations was fun. Isaiah loves planes. It was great for him to see a plane. It was not a real one. It was a driving model plane version.

Isaiah, at first, was a bit afraid of going up to the plane but he warmed up.

There were vehicles with guns. Yep, another thing that Isaiah loves...weapons. He loves guns, swords and what not. However, he does not call them guns...he calls them "fire". When he noticed the guns all he could say was... "Mom! Fire! Fire! Mom! Fire! Fire!" Although, his fire word sounds like bire. Even with all that enthusiasm, he would not go very close to the vehicle... a fear.
While waiting in line at a Navy give away booth, there was a Navy Challenge - pull ups. Elliana gave it a shot. It was fun. She got a hat for trying.
Elizabeth gave it a whirl as well...a hat she received.
Surprising, Ben had a go. He was challenged to do 10 pull-ups and he would receive a Tshirt. 10 pull-ups he did.
Funny thing, for me, was realizing what the hats read - "Naval Reserves". I did not realize this until Robert pointed this out and I actually then read the girls hats. This brought a smile to my face. I really liked my life in the reserves as it was a great experience.

Here the children have finally made it to the front of the line of the Navy give away booth. Notice Grace's hand reaching out for something. Funny!! She gets it that the kids are getting something.
Isaiah had fun just being outside. Running around and throwing balls and Frisbees (yep...freebies).
Ok...this was a huge hit with Isaiah. "Money"...he really thought these coins were real. He kept them in his pocket all night. Today (Saturday), Robert and Isaiah passed a motorcycle that looked like it needed gas - it was on the side of the road. Isaiah likes motorcycles...he inquired about it ..."Home?". Robert told him that it was not theirs and that they would have to buy gas and buy the bike. Robert said that Isaiah reached for his pocket to pull out his "money" to buy the bike and bring "Home?" "Home?" "Home?" Isaiah says the word "home" as "ome". Love his innocence.
Ben was getting ready to leave us to join up with his friends back home. I so much wanted a nice picture of all the children together. We tried. This shot is without Grace...she wanted nothing to do with "sitting for a picture". Isaiah barely cooperated.
Yep, Daddy had to chase her down for the photo.
Now, this is the best picture I could manage with all the children. Pitiful!!!

This is our firework watching site. We found ourselves settling in here around 530pm. The children had fun monkeying around. We were listening to live music.
Elliana received sunglasses in the Navy give away bag. She looks good in these glasses.
Elliana is certainly growing up. She will be 9 years old very soon.
Robert had great fun watching Knight Ranger. Matter of fact, he left our little hang out to be close to the stage. He rocked there. He came back to our site with a huge smile. I, did not listen much as I was busy with the little ones. The music did not sound bad.
Notice...the crowd is starting to come about us.
Isaiah hanging out with Uncle Alan for a bit.
It was starting to become a bit chilly. Robert and I forgot jackets for the children. Yep...we were not prepared. We did have some blankets and this wrap served us well to provide some warmth.
Evie, Elliana and Elizabeth.
Darcy, Alan, Sarah and Samantha. Notice.... Darcy and Alan were prepared. The girls are wearing jackets and pants.
Samantha having fun with the glow necklaces.
Elliana with Grandma.
Sarah was fun with the necklaces as well.
Grace had a blast with the glow necklaces. She could not get enough!
The Cousins having fun.
Fireworks! Loved it! It was great to see the fireworks set to music.
Elizabeth and Isaiah watching the fireworks.
Isaiah was very interested and excited this year.
Isaiah is in the foreground of this picture.

I really felt great pride watching the fireworks at the Naval Station. I felt pride to be an American, I felt pride being there on the base and I felt pride celebrating the 4th of July with those whose serve in the Navy. I certainly do have pride in our Navy. It was very fitting indeed to celebrate the 4th of July at the Navy base! We hope to do this again.


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