Friday, March 27, 2009

He's up to new tricks!

This is the face of......

MR. DESTRUCTION

Do you remember me telling you about him HERE . Well, over the past few months we have had less incidents with Mr. Destruction. Mr. Safety is still hard at work and on duty at all times to report any mishaps, saves, and demolitions in progress that are beyond Mr. Safety's control. Mr. Destruction on most days at his best is only tearing pages in books (not sure why he does this, being read to is his all time favorite thing) pilfering through his sister's room, chewing on Leogs (after the boys fail to pick them all up), and climbing on EVERYTHING! You see that Mr. Safety is on call at all times. The only break Mr. Safety gets is at nap time, Mr. Safety and I each day look forward to our break.

Mr. Destruction has taken very good naps since he was a tiny baby, as long as 4 hours. In the past few months his naps vary from 2 to 3 hours, we are still good with that. Some days after Mr. Destruction is awake from his naps he would be happy and content to play in his bed for 30 minutes to a hour after he woke up. I'm VERY SAD to report that Mr. Destruction not only doesn't play in his bed anymore after naps he also climbs out of the bed when he is finished....sigh* He climbed out one time before we left for our vacation. We hoped it was a freak thing, it wasn't! He now gets out of bed in the morning and at nap, life as we know it is about to change. Mr. Destruction free to roam...yikes!

Mr. Safety and I will keep you all informed about Mr. Destruction's whereabouts, and his shenanigans!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Being bold in truth...



I wonder if one of our own politicians would be so bold, like Daniel Hannan of the UK. When he stood up to speak truth boldly. We pray daily for our elected government officials, that they may see "not" from the worlds eyes but from our Fathers.

Wordless Wednesday answer....

What were the boys looking out the window at??? THE TREE TRIMMER! Yesterdays Wordless Wednesday picture was of Jonathan and Stephen, they had a birds eye view.





On Monday afternoon the boys spent about 2 hours watching the men trim our weeping willow tree. William stood in the windowsill much of the time taking it all in.



James watched taking in all the limbs falling to the ground, remarking often of the mess it was making...YES, he's a little bit of a clean freak :)


Here William has moved to another window and Stephen came along side to help critique the situation.


Looking up this is what they were taking in most of the time, wishing they too could go up in the big bucket.


This is the mess that was starting to gather on the ground. I believe this is where James' stress was coming from, he didn't like their play area getting covered in logs and limbs. The same play area we weeded and raked last week :)


We really didn't want t0 cut our weeping willow back, but it was really long overdue. This tree has been stuck by lightning 2 times and had some areas that were dead. Arthur has trimmed on it numerous times over the 17 years we've lived here, but this time it needed some professional help. One man told us to cut it all the way down, and this man Chris said we could try and trim it back and then wait and see. After Chris was done he told Arthur he treated the cut areas and it may do just fine. Silly as it may seem we are very attached to this tree, we hope that it makes it.

Around 2PM the workers were finished, and the boys (Arthur too) went out to assess the damage. William loves his sand box, here he is trying to remove the wood chips from the lid. He thought he could play in it, that didn't happen because there was to much work to be done.


By 4:30 PM things were really moving, and taking shape. Arthur and Madison were working hard and their little shadows were as well.


The boys made use of William and Wesley's wagon by taking loads of limbs/sticks to the road for pick up. I believe William had the best end of the deal on this, James said he didn't mind because it help hold everything in. This was their last load, it was starting to get dark.


Arthur and Madison worked a good part of the time cutting up the large logs into a more manageable size. Then Rebekah and Madison worked on getting it all stacked, it all seem to fall into place as the sun had almost set.

By this time all the kids had gone in to get cleaned up and ready for bed. Arthur worked a little longer on the small twigs and that were still in the mulch. Now that the the tree is trimmed and the weeds have been pulled we can get a new load of mulch....and look forward to lots of spring/summer playtime ahead.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


* Can you guess what their watching???

Monday, March 23, 2009

Memories Monday

This Memories Monday wasn't so long ago. I was looking through "more" vacation pictures (I'm behind on my vacation post, sorry) and was looking at Wesley's birthday pictures. Then it hit me I never did share pictures of Rebekah's or Madison's birthday back in February, so here they are.


Rebekah turned 14 on February 11th, where has my baby girl gone?



Each year it seems she ends up with a little bit of a Valentine's Day theme, good thing she likes pink :) In years past we have had the children's birthdays with extended family, this year we decided to do something different. We chose to do birthdays with just our family, this was the children's idea. This way the whole birthday is focused on the birthday person, without us entertaining guest. The birthday person gets to choose their favorite meal for that night. Rebekah's birthday meal was spaghetti with meatballs, salad, and garlic bread.


Madison on February 13th turned 12, WOW! hard to believe. Madison and Rebekah are 2 years and 2 days apart in age, when they were smaller they would have their birthday party together. Now we like that they can have their own. Rebekah has always been on the short side, OK she's short 4.11 and Madison well he was born big 8pd13oz, so by the time Madison and Rebekah were 2 and 4 everyone would ask if they were twins. Then one day Rebekah had a growth spurt and no one ask again. Now Madison is 3 inches taller than Rebekah and the question is starting to come up again...I find this funny. Rebekah and Madison have always had a special bond, it's nice that they share a very close birthday.


For Madison's birthday meal we had Hawaiian chicken, corn, deviled eggs, Doritos, and rolls...like I said we have their favorite foods, I didn't say it was healthy! Next it was time for Madison to have his cake and blow out the candles!


This is Madison about 5 minutes after he tried the first time to blow out the candles. We used trick candles, he blew, and blew, and blew but there were a few that just kept coming back. In the end he was laughing so hard he was about to cry....the one on the far right just kept coming back with a flame. Fun times!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring!

YAY!!! Spring is here!!! I know I'm a day behind on wishing everyone a happy spring. I spent my first day of spring in bed with a nasty stomach bug, but enough about that. I spent some time yesterday gazing out my bedroom window looking at the sun shining through the tree branches. Very soon those branches will be covered in buds, and then leaves. I love to see the beauty of spring unfold almost daily before my eyes, another one of Gods amazing works.


Just last Friday one week before Spring this is what we saw that morning. This is the view from the Ramada as we were pulling out to travel back home, a day that doesn't give hope for Spring soon.


Hundreds of miles away and 4 days later, this is where we were our backyard. The weather was nice and we could all feel spring in the air. It was time to spring clean the yard.


Jonathan was helping carry wood to the wood pile, in hopes of a good smore cookout. OK, maybe he was just doing one of his chores, but if he knew it was for smores he would have worked faster :)


Arthur and Madison were trimming back our walnut tree. Madison really enjoyed using the new chain saw (under Arthur's supervision), it's just the right size for a boy his age.

Our plum tree is starting to take bloom, and welcome in spring.


The grass has started to spout up in patches, turning a the pretty spring green.

While taking pictures I found a 4 leaf clover, it just happened to be St. Patrick's Day!


Now you see the time spent outside wasn't all work, everyone needs to have some fun too :)


Now the Muncks are saying "good-bye" to the flowers of winter, and soon will be planting to say "Hello" to the flowers of spring and summer.

Happy WDSD !




Today is World Down Syndrome Day . This day was chosen because of it being 3/21. Down Syndrome is also know as Trisomy 21, meaning the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.






Here is a picture of Jonathan helping out in the yard. Jonathan my have Trisomy 21/Down syndrome but that doesn't define who he is.


I've heard/read a lot of talk lately from others who also have children with Ds. The talk has been if you could would you take away the Ds from your child. The topic hit home for me, and I have read about many on both sides of the fence. Here are my feelings on this subject. Taking away the Ds part of Jonathan would yes, make our lives easier at times. Yet, I feel this would be selfish on my part, because God created Jonathan. God has "never" made any mistakes. Jonathan is such a light to our family healthy or sick you can look in his eyes and see a will that goes beyond any that I have ever seen, one only given by God. Jonathan shows at all times an unconditional love, and an understanding far beyond what I see. Jonathan has brought to our family more than we could ever give him in return. Life isn't easy some days, but is it with any child?! So for our family Jonathan fits in just right Ds and all!!!

Here is a POST I wrote in October Ds month, it sums up where our love began!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our trip part 2

This was Sunday March 1st, the 3rd day of our trip. The first 2 days we took it easy, and didn't put in to many miles. I think we were all getting use to the RV, and Arthur was getting use to driving it....without back up or a break. So, on Sunday we set off early hoping to put in a lot of miles. Wesley was even willing to help Arthur drive, with the way he wanted to drive we decided it might not be such a good idea :)



By the second day Arthur figured out that he could drive in his house shoes, and we all thought it was funny...it takes little to amuse us.




After lots of miles and many hours we made it to South Dakota.



Our goal for this day was to make it to Sioux City, SD by dinner time. As you can see by the picture it was starting to get dark, but we made it.


There was so much to take in on the ride, and such beautiful farm land.


Some of the kids began to grow tired of just looking, they thought coloring would be a good idea.


When we arrived in Sioux City we started to look for an Olive Garden restaurant, this was our reason for trying to get to Sioux City by dinner.


Not sure if you remember from THIS post but March 1st was Elizabeth's birthday and she turned 17! I'm not sure the first part of the day was the greatest birthday, but she enjoyed eating at one of her favorite restaurants that night. We brought along her presents and she opened them after dinner, in the RV. Arthur and I before we left home on Friday went to the bakery and bought Elizabeth thumb print cookies, from the Village Bake Shop. Every year we do a cake for Elizabeth, but she also always likes to have a few thumb print cookies. I'm not sure I could put into words how good these cookies are, or that we've NEVER had any like them. The cookies were a BIG hit and a big surprise, I don't think any of us missed not having a cake.
After dinner we put in another hour and a half of driving, and called it a day.
I'm now sorting through lots of pictures for the next post of the 4Th day. We took in lots that day, and had 2 big stops....hundreds of pictures, where do I start?! So, be ready :)

Wordless Wednesday


Was Wesley watching Daddy? OR was Daddy watching Wesley?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finally trip pictures...

This was the first "big" stop on our trip. We visited the St. Louis Arch, on Saturday February 28th. Writing that date reminds me again of how long we were away from home. It's also a reminder of how much we fit into our time away.



The Arch was bigger than I expected, this picture was taken from the bridge coming into town.

Arthur had been to the Arch before, and for the past 20 years we have talked about visiting St. Louis one day. Never did we think we would be taking in this site with 9 kids :)

There was lots of visitor parking, just NOT for a RV. We ended up parking on the river bank, next to a semi truck.

The girls we sticking close together waiting for everyone to pile out of the RV. It was cloudy, cold and very windy that day. I believe Wesley got the best end of the deal having sisters to hold him and keep him warm.

Here are the steps we had to climb from the river to get up to the Arch. We had gotten the stroller out of the RV for Wesley but because it was so cold we didn't want him to have to sit in it without anything to block the wind. So, I carried him up the steps, and then about fell over at the top from being out of breath...yes I'm out of shape. I then handed Wesley over to Arthur. The kids climbed the steps like it was nothing, even Jonathan did well. It was coming down the steps where Jonathan had a hard time.

Not sure if you can see the windows at the top of the Arch. Strange to think that you can go up to the top and look out.

Here are Amanda, Stephen, William, and Madison in the dryer...oh' I mean elevator to the top of the Arch. You truly do feel as though you are sitting in a dryer, with only a small window to see out. The window is about the size of a salad plate. There isn't a view from the elevator you just see the walls and stairs...OK those are the stairs I wouldn't want to climb. Makes me think of when I was in grooming school in New York City and we all went to the Statue of Liberty. The elevator was broken and we all decided to take the stairs to the top...fun times but I was 18 years old then, and fit :)

In this elevator were Rebekah, Elizabeth, James, and hiding in the corner Jonathan. The ride up took 41/2 minutes and coming down took 3minutes. Arthur, Wesley, and I rode in another elevator on the way up, on the way down we only split off in 2 elevators. Wesley did fine on the way up, but the whole way back down he screamed...no tears just screamed!


Here are a few pictures of the view from the top.

Cloudy day or not, the view from the top was amazing.

This is the opposite side of the Arch, where the river was...we were parked somewhere down there.

After we had our ride to the top of the Arch, we came back down to visit the museum in the basement. We found the Arch museum to be more than what we expected, and this part was FREE! The only cost we had from this stop on our trip was the dryer ride to the top of the Arch!

The entrance to the museum had this very large stuffed "Puppy"! Wesley really enjoyed talking to and showing us this "puppy". Poor little guy, you see we did need to get him away from Great Doggie Doos to realize there are more than dogs in this world! We told him repeatedly this was a bear and he can say bear, but each time we passed it he continued to refer to it as a "puppy" along with the other stuffed animals they had like beavers, oxen, and bison.

The Lewis and Clark part of the exhibit was so life like. Each of the figures spoke and moved, and told loads of information about their journeys along with the expansion to the west. The kids liked listening to the Indians speak. Wesley was terrified, and fell in the floor crying. Really he is at times scared of his own shadow, not sure why. So, I went on ahead to get him away from the talking/moving figures and so others would stop giving me the eye like...what's wrong with your kid ;) I make it sound bad but all in all for being 23 months old Wesley was great.


Here are a few of the Indian exhibits. The boys loved the boat, made from wood and animal skin.

Amanda and I really liked this tepee and looking at the way it was constructed. At the opening of the tepee you could see in and it was fixed as if someone was still living in it.

( you can see Jonathan finding the whole reading of the walls...boring!)
This was toward the end of the museum. The walls were filled with American history dating back to the beginning of America. It had a picture and information about each president, and some of the significant things each president did or stood for. It gave a timeline in history and we found it more than we could take in, and we wished we had had more time.
In the picture above Elizabeth was reading of a man named in a book she had just been reading, the book was about Harriet Tubman. This man and his 2 sons were friends of Tubman, and were killed for standing up for the slaves and protecting them. (I'll have to ask Elizabeth his name) My point is the Arch museum was rich in American history, the held a great deal more then just being a nation monument. We could have read the walls for days and looked at the exhibits of guns, wine skins, and wagons for hours. We stayed until they closed at 6:00PM feeling there was still more to see. The drive from our home to St. Louis isn't that far and we may make this a week end trip sometime to finish taking in the museum.
OK, now you have seen our first stop. I have many more pictures to sort through for post to come, it's so hard because a I want to share it all. Check back tomorrow for another picture filled day of our vacation!