Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Chloe

 Last week we celebrated Chloe's 6th birthday.  She is getting way too old on us!  We had fun making a watermelon cake.

 I love this picture of her.  It is from when she turned 2.

 When I got her soccer picture last night I was a little bit stunned.  The left is soccer last year, the right is soccer this year.  How she has grown and changed in one year is amazing!  She is losing her baby look more and more.

 And she is looking more and more like her big sister all the time.

 Chloe is just as spirited and full of life as ever.  She tends to dominate & lead in most situations.  She is friendly & outgoing.  I can't walk down the school hallways with her without the constant "Hi Chloe" from all kinds of other kids.  Chloe was invited to 7 birthday parties - in kindergarten!  We did not go them all.  Tyler & Hannah had a discussion that between the two of them put together, they are not sure if they have been invited to 7 birthday parties.  The girl has a personality & it is just too darn loveable!  

From the hospital to kindergarten graduation, our little girl has grown in so many ways.  She is our precious little sweet pea & we love her to pieces.  We are grateful to God for having blessed us with such a wonderful gift of raising her.  Happy Birthday Chloe!  You are loved!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Hannah!

 I know this post is after the fact, but hey, it is April 23, so it's something to be exactly one month late...right?  On March 23 our little Hannah turned 9.

 Oh my.  This picture makes me want to cry.  They were so little!  What happened to the babies?!

 Back to age 9.  We went bowling with some friends.

 Hannah is the child that wants to bring something special to school for her birthday.  Tyler is good with cookies.  Chloe was perfectly ok with fruit snacks.  Hannah - it can't just be cupcakes, they have to be special ones.  And that's ok - she loves to help make them & they show her personality, so I embrace it.  This year, it was owl cupcakes.  We was an especially busy night at home that night we had to do them, so thank goodness for Grandma coming to join the assembly line.  Tyler & Grandpa kept trying to steal them - I think Tyler was successful.  However, I still have in my kitchen drawer a bag full of the other half of all those oreos - who wants to eat an oreo without the good part?!?!

 We ate at grandma's house & had fun playing with Joey.  It gets kind of rough.  Poor Tyler.

I still can't believe our Hannah is 9.  She is so beautiful - not just on the outside, but on the inside.  Hannah has the most compassionate heart.  She often says she wants to be a missionary & I can see her doing that. Her heart breaks for people in need, and what greater need do we all have than Jesus?!  She is amazingly crafty & full of expression.  She is all about drawing, writing, dancing, singing, gymnastics & soccer.  I think it becomes impossible for her to walk across an open room - she needs to cartwheel across.  She often says, can I please do a cartwheel - I haven't done one all day, I NEED to do one!  Hannah, you are such a precious gift & we thank God for you every day!  We love you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lephrechaun Traps

We had some fun this year for St. Patrick's Day.  I found it strange, because we are not a family that does Santa, we don't leave teeth for the tooth fairy, and no Easter bunny.  But, this year, we did lephrechauns.  The school makes a big deal about them, and that spilled over to home.  The kids are very aware that they are not real.  But they had so much fun making traps to try & catch one. It was a lot of in their rooms with the door shut, and then they would run out, grab stuff, hiding it behind their backs & running back into the bedroom.  I just let them have some fun.  Above is Hannah's trap.  Below is Chloe's trap.  They used potatoes as "bait" because they are Irish...which mean potatoes. There is logic to the madness!
When it came time for bed, Chloe was actually too scared because she was afraid of one being in their room.  She also thinks her bed is always crawling with spiders, so I think we have issues beyond lephrechauns.  When they woke up in the morning, the traps had gone down & most of the potatoes were gone!  The ones that were left had these weird holes in them (I must say they looked an awful lot like a wine bottle cork screw hole).  And a note that said "Hehehe, you didn't catch me!"  Those girls went crazy!  They even took the potatoes to school to show their teachers.  What's life if you can't have a little fun fooling your kids right!?  But I think they are fooled.  They know daddy always eats "Santa's cookies" and mom always just gives them a a half-dollar coin for teeth, but who could have put holes in those potatoes - and where did the missing ones go?  Little do they know - they ate the evidence for supper.  :)

Well, until they read this blog post that is.

Monday, March 10, 2014


 Due to a family tragedy (see more towards the end of this post), we left bright & early Christmas morning to head to Colorado.  Our parade of cars headed cross country.  Tyler spent most of the ride with Grandpa & Grandma, taking pictures like the one above.  I chose only to share the one, rather than the 500 others.
 Mid-America was very flat.  And not good when you really have to go to the bathroom.  Where do you stop?!?!?  These small towns don't even have gas stations!  Or else the ones that they have are very scary.  We were a little scared, for real, at one place in particular.  We were afraid Andy was being held inside for not buying anything.  We contemplated just leaving him rather than going back in.  But don't worry, he eventually came out on his own.
 On the way out, we noticed this bridge.  Chloe couldn't see it.  She kept saying, I don't see it!  We were saying - it's right there, over the whole road.  I think she was just being Chloe.
 Tyler kept asking if we would see the Cornhuskers stadium.  We said, no way, we won't be close enough.  It turns out, our hotel that first night was right next to it.  We had a perfect view of it.  I think Tyler stared out the windows at it for hours.  I also have about 100 pictures of it.
 First, how can she stare at a tv screen with the mountains outside her window!  But really, those DVD players saved my sanity on this trip.  Thank you Tessmanns for sharing them with us!
 Hannah was my photographer.  I was driving, so I couldn't take pictures.  She really did a great job.  And these two did so good on the whole trip.  It was days of driving, and there was hardly any complaining or fighting (see the first picture reference of Tyler being in a different car).  And only 1 throwing up!
 We had to drive through a mountain pass.  Literally up through the top of a mountain.  It was amazing.  I kept talking to my van, saying you can make it up this, you really can.  Who am I kidding - I was telling myself that for myself!  I am still amazed that I drove all the way to Colorado - by myself!  (well, I had family in vehicles in front of me & behind me) but I actually drove it.  Even in the big cities.  God provided in so many ways, and I couldn't have done it otherwise.
 I was just so in love with the beauty of the mountains.  The majesty of God on display.
Approaching Colorado Springs.  The sunset was so brilliant we could hardly see.
This is a picture of Kaila & Hannah.  On the left is a few years ago.  They are such cute cousins!  On the right is the two of them at the funeral.  My how they have changed into such beautiful young ladies.
 Sadly, the reason we went to Colorado was for the funeral for my niece, Kiana.  Kiana died tragically on December 23 at the age of 14.  This is Kiana when they were here visiting.  She & Kaila loved to make make fun of our accents (especially the word bag).  And they always giggled at how Chloe would announce her arrival "Chloe Kapitz is here"
 Kiana & Tyler coloring at Happy Joe's.
 This is when I went to Texas for the wedding & got to spend time with the girls.
Kiana was a beautiful young woman.  She is deeply missed by us, and so much more so by her loving parents.  In the midst of such tragedy, we continue to stand in prayer with our family for continued healing & comfort as God continues to work.  God has used her life, and death, to showcase His glory in so many ways.  Displaying God's truths on love, forgiveness, gratitude, and then putting feet to those truths. Grace & the Gospel in action!  Kiana was not only our niece, the kids' cousin, a granddaughter, a friend, a daughter, a sister - Kiana was a professing believer in Jesus.  That means as her sister in Christ, we will meet again in Heaven, as we together worship our Lord & Savior.  What great hope & joy that can be found in Him, regardless of the circumstances. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Dells

 I have been at my job at FBC for 10 years, as of last November.  As an amazing gift, the people of FBC gave our family a trip to the Dells.  We have never been there, and we were very excited to go.  So we went for a few days in February.  The picture above this is of the high ropes course.  Yes, this means walking around on ropes up in the rafters attached by a harness.  Not my thing, but I did it with them anyway.  Well, it turns out that it is also not Hannah & Chloe's thing.  Only, they figured that out at the top of the course while they were clinging to poles, crying, and refusing to move.  How do you get down you ask?  You have to go back through the course to get to the exit.  By the grace of God - we made it back.  It was a very long experience.  When we got off, Hannah said, let's do it again!  Um, No.  I have no pictures of us up on the course because no cameras or phones are allowed - because people tend to drop them & they break or crash into people below. Below the course was one of the arcades.  We also spent a lot of time there, Tyler of course, loved the arcade.
 Most of the time was spent in one of their 3 indoor waterparks.  We went from park to park & loved them all.  Chloe would be playing & when the clanging bell gives the heads up on the bucket dumping, she would run to stand in front of the pillar to kind of get wet from it.  Hannah & Tyler spent most of their time on the big slides, while Chloe stayed closer to me & the smaller ones.  Chloe had the lifeguards giving her high-fives to the point where they would be looking for her & goofing around with her.  It was fun to watch that.
 We also played a couple of rounds of black-light, 3D mini golf.  When you take a picture in the dark, you miss that the pirate's gun is pointed right at Tyler's head.  We also did some laser mazes and laser tag.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of Chloe in her laser tag vest, since it came past her knees.  In our first round which was just us, Chloe lost big time, since Tyler had no mercy on her.  However for our second round, we had to play with 11 other people that we didn't know.  And Chloe won that round! How did that happen?  Well, these strangers felt bad for her.  They would come up to her and say, oh you're so cute, I won't shoot you.  But how about I let you shoot me.  So as a result of them all doing that - she won!
 They really liked the wave pool.  I liked it because it was all natural light.  Chloe decided this day that she wants to grow her bangs out.  I'm all for that.  So now we are sporting the fountain head pony tail for a while.  And the end of that day, when we back to the room, she was quite disappointed because they were not all grown out.  She wasn't thrilled to learn that it doesn't happen in just one day.
 They are kind of hard to see in this picture, but it was typical of how they did it.  Tyler jumped into the waves with no tube, Hannah relaxed in the tube, and Chloe karate chopped the waves nice & close to the "shore".
We also went to this really nice place for supper.  An expensive buffet with so much delicious food to choose from.  And do you know what they ate?  Chloe ate a salad (or two) - no surprise there.  Hannah ate chicken noodle soup.  And Tyler - he ate spaghettios!  What?  All that food and you eat spaghettios?!  But I had promised myself that this trip was all about having fun & letting them enjoy the time.  So if that's what you want to eat, then I am glad for that.  (But I still had to express my what?! here).

This trip was such an amazing blessing.  Without the love of Christ pouring out through our church family, something like this would not be possible for us.  We are so blessed that it is hard to express the extent of the thankfulness & gratefulness that we feel.  God is so incredibly good, He doesn't just faithfully continue to be our provider, He goes above & beyond His provision and blesses us beyond what we could ever imagine.  So thank you to everyone who helped make this trip possible.  It brought such joy to the kids, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Valentine Flowers

This week Tyler got off the bus with a vase of flowers.  He had ordered them through the school for Valentine's Day.  He bought one for each of the women in his life.  Which is me and all his Grandmas.  So we took time that afternoon to deliver to the Great Grandmas, and Grandmas.  One grandma wasn't home so I still have hers in my kitchen with mine.  I was just so touched that Tyler spent his own money, all on his own idea in a way that was a blessing to others.  God is doing some great things in him!