Friday, June 27, 2014

A Look Back at 2013 - AUGUST

Jaren played t-ball this year and was part of the Athletics team.  Ed and I got to help coach the kids this year which was really fun!  I loved helping the kids feel good about what they were learning!  They were all so cute!

Jaren by Oliver's locust tree planted at the ball diamonds where he used to play.  It's cool to see how much it's grown every year.

 Ed, Phineas and Jaren.

Eating at Dairy Queen after his game.  We love donating to the Children's Miracle Network in Oliver's name.  They do so much for kids in the hospital!  Eden and me rocking our Killers t-shirts!

 Jaren going out on a limb and tasting a roll at Texas Roadhouse.  He seemed to like it!

Meeting my sweet little niece for the first time!  Sophia Grace was born several weeks early and was in the NICU for several weeks following her birth.

Salsa Party with some friends.

 Pregnancy pictures with Thorin in my belly!

 Jaren at the allergist's office getting tested for more food allergies.  We knew he was allergic to DAIRY, PEANUTS, EGGS & CHICKEN among many environmental allergies.  We found out he's also allergic to CANTALOUPE and BEEF.  They measure the actual size of the hive as well as the size of the redness around the hive.  That tells us how allergic he is to the food he was tested for.

 Hulk is all business and Spider-man looks like a medieval knight!

Sleeping with Finny.  I love how he's hugging my neck!

Visiting Oliver at the cemetery.

The kids finally got to meet their sweet cousin, Sophia!

The Youngbluts were nice enough to invite people from church over to pick some of their corn!  The kids had so much fun learning how to properly pick the ears.  I was telling Eden how awesome it was to detassel every year... hardy har har.  Finn just dug in and started eating some right away!

After we went to the Youngblut's farm to pick some corn, we ventured out to Hickory Hills to see the animals and feed the elk.  We gave them a few pieces of the corn and they LOVED it!  They also loved the wild rhubarb that was growing along the side of the road... at least that's what I think it was!

Kids on the first day of school.  Eden starting 5th grade and Jaren starting Kindergarten.

 We always have 'Ice Cream for Breakfast' on the first day of school.  It's a tradition we started after Oliver's Make*A*Wish trip to Give Kids the World.  The kids LOVE it!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Look Back at 2013 - AUGUST - Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

 One of my favorite places to go is the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.  I LOVE all of the different colors you can see out there!  They have lots of things for the kids to do in the children's garden as well.  I took Phineas and went with my sister-in-law and her kids, Carson and Kaylee for about 3 hours in the afternoon and then after Eden got home we went again with all the kids and her friend, McKenzie for another 2 1/2 hours!  We LOVE it out there!

 Finn playing with wooden blocks in one of the caged silos.

 I love taking close ups of flowers.  So pretty!

 They had a new little playhouse in the children's garden which the kids loved playing in!  They love to look at all the fish and play in the giant sandbox.

 They had a great sunflower garden this year with many different types of sunflowers.  The kids loved running inside of them!  We found one that was bigger than our heads!

 Reflections in one of the ponds.  They love it out there!  I think cousin Carson lost a matchbox car in there earlier in the day that the boys fished out!

There is one area that they love playing chase through.  I love being out there around sunset.  Everything is just gorgeous!

 "Sherlock Gnomes" scavenger hunt.  There were about 20 - 30 different ceramic gnomes with different names hidden throughout the arboretum.  We got a map and went on a gnome hunt.  So much fun!

We've loved going to the arboretum for years and years and we had taken Eden and McKenzie when I used to babysit her in preschool.  Of course we had to re-enact the pictures the best we could! 

 Gorgeous sunset!

 Jaren in the Children's Garden.

 Finny posing on the rocks.

It looks a little like a heart... an Ollie heart.  He's always with us!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Look Back at 2013 - JULY



For the last several years we've celebrated the fourth of July out at my dad's house.  We bbq, swim, listen to music and have our own fireworks show.  The kids just love it!

 Eden, Finn and the Eibey girls.  They love the glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces when it gets dark!  Finny sitting with Daddy for the fireworks.  Camden and Phineas are the same age.  They were born in the same hospital on the same day!  Chad holding Finn on the deck overlooking the yard.

Fun with sparklers...

 OLIVER'S 12th Birthday
(second in heaven)

We invited a bunch of people (Us, my mom, Chad, Danny and Jamie & Family, Horans/Frosts, McNamaras, Heinzs, Takoda Greenway, Nais, Carrie Lindley) to come to Prairie Grove park to celebrate Oliver's birthday with us.  We had hot dogs and a bunch of sides as well as cupcakes.  We had sidewalk chalk and brought stuff to play catch and have water gun fights.  I also did a few balloon animals and the kids made their own balloon creations.  It was a day full of fun and friends.  I'm grateful that you all came out to remember our sweet boy. 

We also had a toy drive for the 2nd year in a row for the kids down in Iowa City.  We didn't fare as well this year, but were very glad for the donations we got.  We took them down to the radiology department for the kids to choose toys or other items from their toy cupboard.  Oliver always looked forward to that!

Squirt gun fight!!
Oliver's best friends, Nick & Takoda, with Jaren.

After our cookout at the park, we drove to the cemetery for a balloon release.  I bought balloons that lit up inside so we all wrote notes on the balloons and then waited until it was dark to send them off.  I think I will wait until it's darker next year.  You couldn't see them very well.  I made Oliver a special bouquet of flowers for his birthday in the Iowa Hawkeye colors and got a special pin for a special Jedi, he loved Yoda.  We also go to DQ on his birthday to celebrate with his favorite, a mint oreo Blizzard and this year I found a special chocolate heart on mine.
I loved the moon in the background!

Cecelia, a young woman that was in my mom's class and who also shared a birthday with Oliver, came to the cemetery with her family to send up some balloons to Oliver.  It was so sweet that she would take time out of her own birthday to remember my son.
A PERFECT way to end his birthday... with a heart in the sun...

My step brother had passed away from a brain tumor when Oliver was only 6 months old.  I had gone to his funeral, but had never been out to see his grave marker.  There had been a tornado that ripped out several trees in the line by the road so it made it easier to find where he was buried.  It is just odd that Oliver also passed from a brain tumor.

My niece, Sophia Grace, was born several weeks early on July 18th.  Eden was shocked at how teeny tiny her diapers were.  We laughed at how hairy she was... like a cute little gorilla!  She had to stay in the hospital for several weeks before she was well enough to come home.  I couldn't believe how tiny she was!  What a dolly!

Fun with cousins in the sprinkler!
Eden scoring several goals during her time with the Sports Sampler.  She learned the basics of baseball, kickball, soccer and basketball.
We went to see the building with the peacock painted on the outside and was surprised at the cute little shop inside.  Afterwards, we ate at Doey Joey's.  It was a nice mother/daughter date.
Jaren and his uncanny resemblance to Alfalfa!
Green Lantern (Jaren) at Golden China, nighttime lightning storm, Ollie hearts, Phineas falling asleep in weird places with a girl's sweatshirt on and fun with Barbies...