Tuesday, April 28, 2009

back to work!!

The boys and I got back from Mitchell Sunday afternoon after sharing the weekend with my brother and his three kiddos, one of them newly turning six. Sadly I didn't get any pictures as my camera was being repaired by Sony after Luke dropped it. I'm hoping to get some of the shots I took with other people's cameras (hint hint). We came back to a clean house (thank you, Dic) and lots to do. Baseball is almost in full swing with lots of meetings and practices coming up. I spent several hours yesterday trying to line everything up for Zach's team (Dic will be head coach--but I obviously will be doing the dirty work) and then trying to coordinate all three boys' schedules. We agreed this will be the busiest two months of the year for our family, but we are going to put our happy faces on and enjoy every minute! :0) On that note, Luke's 6th Birthday and Dic's 43rd Birthday are on Saturday this week. So big plans for a fun pirate party! Arrgg! So now it's time to find all the pirate stuff...how come everything has a place until I'm looking for it...then it's gone! I'll be posting pictures shortly about that! Well......back to work I go!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

new news

Look at this little cutie! This is my new baby niece, Mkenzie (they do NOT want her called Mac for short) and she came a month early, born Thurs. and weighing 5lbs. She is soooo sweeettt! Luke and I got to hold her today and we brought her big brother, Jace (almost 2) home with us to nap while his daddy celebrates with some golf!
We will be taking Jace with us tomorrow on our road trip to Mitchell for nephew, Brendan's, 6th Birthday--so excited to get the heck outta here! Dic has to stay home cause he has an electrical convention that his business is putting on. Good thing, cause we have soo many stink'n animals SOMEONE has to take care of them all. Our new little dog, Phoebe, is real sweet, but she has learned that the world doesn't end at our driveway.....and she's been running off. Did I need another one of "those" dogs? AND our male cat, Oliver, was always welcome in the house....until he showed us what he can do with his spray!!! Oh my gosh--if you've haven't smelled cat spray! So we moved all of his belongings to the garage. It's nice outside now. But then, low and behold.....he sprayed all over Dic's saw and the sheet rock on the wall. Needless to say, Dic is not happy and Oliver is now a .......hmmmm.....a field cat? Maybe he'll take up residency in the barn where our other cat and goats ended up.
The boys hadn't heard anything about baseball, so Dic checked up on the situation. Turns out the reason we haven't heard is because they don't have any coaches. So Dic is most likely coaching Zach's Bantam League team, helping with Cole's Minor League team, and I am coaching Luke's T-ball team. It's going to be a crazy couple of months I'm think'n!! It's hard to ditch baseball for a weekend to go camping with the fam. when you're the coach!
Luke's 6th Birthday is just a week away and we are planning a fun Pirate Party out in the yard (weather pleasssseee stay nice) with some inflatables to pass the time. We are in the process of brainstorming about the cake, sure to be great no matter what.
My new news will soon be old news.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kids & Creatures.......

As promised.....I have recapped our adventures with our kids and all of our creatures with many photos.
The life of a Chiolis.......awwww bliss!
This was our Easter Musical at church called "Peter Cotton's Tale". It was such a great story and the kids did a great job. A big thanks to our sweet friend, Krisha, who always puts forward soooo much effort to put on a great show. Way to go everyone!
Zach is in the back on the left side with a white/peach-flowered shirt, Luke is on the right side in yellow, and Cole is down low in the orange shirt.

Cole had several speaking lines, and this is when he was singing his solo--I'm a proud mama--tears aflowing....again! (I actually had the part as Peter's mom and helped out with the singing. ;0)

This is our new little dog, Phoebe. Cole has been wanting a small dog for a few years and this opportunity just kinda hit me in the face. She is a Papillion, also known as a "Butterfly Dog" and she is 2 years old. We looked up other names for Butterfly on the net and came up with phoebes mantis, and so we all agreed on Phoebe (Phoebes). Guess what!?! A GIRL dog!!!! First thing I did was buy her a pink collar, pink leach, pink name tag, and a pink sweater! Is this the closest I'm gonna get? :0)

Phoebe and Libby
(the one chick the boys let me name).

Luke & Zachary's ducklings taking a little bath.

Yes, they are ALL in the house.

Our own little indoor farm.

Sweet Lukey and one of the many chicks either brought by E. Bunny or purchased by me and my crazy kids!

Turkeys hanging out with turkeys. :0)

Can't leave the "old" critters out of the fun!
Good 'ole Smoke.

Zachary had to do a creative interpretation of the U.S. map. We baked a cake and frosted it (to perfection upon Zach's request). The mountains were chocolate chips.
Turns out some rotten little scoundrel in Z's class stuck his dirty little finger in and ruined it. He wouldn't fess up, but I told Zach he should ask him if it was yummy! :0)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Order in the House!!

I hope I'm not making any heads spin with the constant background changes!
We had a nice Easter with lots of activity. On Palm Sunday the kids had a musical at church (pictures to come) that was a lot of fun and they worked so hard. And then Easter Sunday we went to church, followed by an Easter egg hunt indoors because of the weather. We had my family over for a ham dinner that afternoon. The boys got a few chicks from the Easter Bunny and then Grandma Sharon and Grandpa George brought them some turkeys and MORE chicks. The next day we went to the feed store to get Luke the one black chick he has been asking for and ended up purchasing 2 ducks and 7 more chicks (more pictures to come). Cole said "Mom, I don't know what happened to you in there!" I don't typically give in when I have my mind set. And I have put my foot down about the duck thing, as they make bigger, wetter messes. I'm not sure what happened either, especially since we just got a new little dog ( and yet more pictures) less than two weeks ago! Yep, I must be crazy! But I do have the kids helping me with the animals--I kinda gave them a break during most of the school year, but decided that if we're going to have all of these creatures I need some help....BIG HELP. And it's so nice in the mornings when they have chores---they seem to jump out of bed moving since they know they have things to do before they leave for school. They sure are more organized! Yeh! Some order in the house!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

snow, snow, go away...far, far away.........

This was our second blizzard in two weeks--we had to hire this guy to dig us out. The kids watched in dismay as their snow tunnels were destroyed. We couldn't even pull our cars out of the garage.Then we had this kind of a day (about 78 degrees) where we pulled the shorts out and blew bubbles. Seriously, this is just SD weather....so typical! Sunset from our back porch.
Then this again! This was the third (and hopefully final) blizzard in the 2 week period. I have to say....the boys LOVE it!

Our poor chickens have spent lots of time inside this winter. We do "keep the light on" for them. :0)
Spring-time weather come soon!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Really? We asked that?

Well, anyone who has visited here knows I am a follower of this exceptional young girl named Katie. She lives in Uganda with many children whom she has taken off the streets or have come to her for a better life. I read and smile! She brings me hope and a light turns on. Read on...............

well since you asked...
I LOVE getting comments on my blog. They are so uplifting an encouraging. It is so nice to know that I am prayed for and prayed with. So thank you for all of your encouraging words regarding potty training and all your prayers for precious Maggie!Pretty much daily Gwen answers comments that are in reality questions. I think its time I answered some of them publicly myself, so that Gwen doesn't have to keep explaining things like my "faith doctrine" to total strangers.Since I am still potty training (currently nap time...) AND I am pretty certain I have Ecoli, I have a bit of free time on my hands :)"What is your faith doctrine?"I think this is a pretty strange question. I KNOW that it is not a question Jesus would have asked anyone before serving or loving or communicating with them. I am also saddened to think that my LOVE FOR JESUS may not be so apparent in my writing that it answers that question automatically. But here it is for those still asking: Jesus wrecked my life. All my life, I had everything this world says is important. In high school I was class president, homecoming queen, top of my class. I dated cute boys and drove a cute car. I had supportive parents who so desired my success that they would pay for me to go to college anywhere my heart desired. BUT, I loved Jesus. Jesus says to Nicodemus that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, one must be born again. Check. Jesus says to another guy that in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven one must sell everything they have a give it to the poor and then COME, follow Him. Oh... I realized that I had loved and admired and worshipped Jesus without doing what He did. So I quit my life. Originally it was to be temporary, just a year before I went back to normal Brentwood life and college. It wasn't possible. I had seen what life was about and I couldn't pretend I didn't know. So I quit my life again, but for good this time. I quit college, I quit my cute designer and my little yellow convertible, I quit my boyfriend. I no longer have everything that the world says is important. BUT, I have everything that I know is important. I have never been happier, and I have never been closer to the Lover of my Soul and my Savior. JESUS wrecked my life, shattered it to put it back together more beautifully. I am in LOVE with Him. Period."What made you decide to be a missionary? Do you like being a missionary?"I think that missionary is a funny word. I think that if you declare yourself a Christian, you MUST also be a missionary, your mission to live and to love like Christ, to share Christ with others. My walk with the Lord and my life should not seem so unusual that it has to have a special label. I'm just a mom. I just strive to live and to love people like Christ. The people just happen to be brown and poorer than you. It's not a special mission, It's everyone's mission. I do not deserve a title, and if you are going to give me one, I prefer "Lover of Jesus." And yes, I like it."As a young single woman, don't you think living in Africa is dangerous? Are you afraid?"I am more afraid of America. Matthew 10:28 tells us not to fear things that can destroy the body but to fear things that can destroy the soul. I can literally feel my soul suffocating in the safety of Brentwood and all it's numbness, complacency and comfort. Scary.C.S. Lewis puts it this way:"I shall feel rather nervous meeting a lion," said Susan."That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there is anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking they're either braver than most or just silly.""Then He isn't safe?" said Lucy."Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "Who said anything about safe?! Of Course He isn't safe. But He is good. He is the King I tell you."(The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
No, I do not always stay safe. He's the King I tell you! We are not called to be safe, we are simply promised that when we are in danger God is right there with us, and there is no better place to be than in His hands. We are supposed to SHUDDER, knees knocking, when we think of our Lord and all He has called us to. So here I am, trembling."Is it responsible to adopt so many children?"Is it responsible to let them starve in the streets?"What are you going to do next/with your home/with your children/with your ministry/in five years/when you are older/ect?"I am not concerned with what I am going to do. I am interested only in what I am becoming. Each day, I am hoping to become more like the One who created me.There is an old Franciscan saying, "Preach the Gospel. And when necessary, use words." So I am going to quit this silly preaching with words and go make dinner for my precious ones. Your questions are welcome.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

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