Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 14 - Moving with Friends

Some very good friends of our, the Dowells, have been building a new house for quite a while now. It is their dream house that they have wanted. Today they moved into it. Some other families and us came to help them move. It was so much fun to see them in their new house and share this special time with them.
Moving things in from the truck. They did a great job of packing it in.

The middle child, Kate and her friend Rachael Danforth in Kate's new room.

Shea, Garrett, Jerrod Danforth (A family that came to help), and the oldest, Elena Dowell putting together Elena's bed.

Their beautiful living room.

Elena loves the sprinkler system in the back yard.

When the work was done the kids went to playing. 
Congratulations Dowell family on your new home!!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 8 - The Neufeld's and Animals

The Neufeld girls came over for the afternoon while their mamma is at the doctor. It is always so much fun to have them, they add so much to the day when they are here. Jocy is just learning to read, Cami is getting potty trained, and Kaci is just learning to walk. Three major mile markers and it is so much fun to watch that. When we met Jocy, Cami wasn't even born. Now they are working on their fourth baby. They don't know what it is, but Jocy is convinced that if she tells God what she wants enough that he will give her a brother. She has believed that every since Cami was born.
Some more good news, the Neufelds decided that they wanted Dipstick. So now he had a home with lots of playmates.

Dipstick is all packed and ready to go with his new owner.

Later on, Janessa, Shea, and Kacy took a ride to find a toy that Reacher had dropped on a ride we took 4 days ago. We thought that he would remember where it was a bring it home before now, but obviously he didn't think so. After we found the toy, Shea started getting bored on slow Rusty, so he tried to think of as many ways and he could ride a horse.

Steering with his legs.

Riding on the horn.


Here he is trying to get on with the reigns tied to his legs.

And last, but not least, Standing up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 6 - Molly's Birthday

Molly is turning 9! She wanted her daddy to teach all her friends how to paint for her party. He did an excellent job, and everyone had lots of fun.
The "class" of 11 girls.

The start of Janessa's flower.

Aubrey is doing her petals.

Jenna working on her center.

Andi adding color.

Lookin' good, Lexi.

Katie working on her background.

Andi and Sadie seem to be having fun.

Allie is working on her background.

Molly gets to paint with her daddy.

Janessa is almost done.

Kacy is concentrating hard.
After the painting was all done Molly blew out the candles of her beautiful cake that Janessa made for her.
Then opening gifts, everyone's favorite part. Especially the birthday girl.
A lego friends set from the Bells.

Molly had received a sewing machine for her birthday from her parents and the Hoggards gave her lots of cloth, a beautiful pin cushion, and a sewing bag. 
Mason had some firecrackers left over from the 4th, so we did some experiments. We tested the power of the firecrackers by putting a solo cup over them. He had some black cats that sent it about 8 feet into the air, but he also had some other fire crackers that were much larger. They didn't send the cup very high, no they mutilated it.
Light and run.

See the cup? That was a black-cat.

And here is the remains from the other firecrackers.

While Jenna and Zach were waiting for Mason to light the firecrackers they were doing all sorts of athletic exercises like this one. For a normal person that would be excruciating pain, but for Jenna it was just fun. Zach seems to be having fun too. 
Another goofy position, Yes she is doing the splits. That hurts to look at it, but she said it didn't hurt at all.

After the party had wound down some all the kids went outside to have a water fight. Everyone was soaked...but I guess it isn't really a water fight unless that happens.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 5 - Workday Weekend and a Remembrance of God's Wonderful Power

4 years ago today, out neighbor was out mowing our lawn. God had blessed the land that year with a wonderful rain and out yard was in full bloom. Out neighbor had a big bush-hog lawn mower that he was using. Dad was working in one of the other buildings, Mom and the girls were working in the garden, Zach was picking up any trash that we had missed in our earlier look around the property, and the younger boys were playing on the patio with their bikes. That day changed our entire lives...for the better. Zach was hit with the lawn mower. He had to have three massive surgeries and he couldn't walk for almost a year. He will always have bad scars on his foot and it will always need special care, but that day God showed our family a touch of his amazing power. To start out with when Zach got run over the blades hit only the bottom of his foot, not the top where all his blood vessels are. Another thing was dad had, some years ago, a major training in the EMT. He wanted to be a professional EMT, but he failed the test. And because of his training he knew how to take care of Zach until the Ambulance arrived. Third, even throughout the whole ordeal, Zach was acting like an over-comer, trying to find something to joke about. Fourth, God had blessed us with wonderful friends that dropped everything and came to support and pray for and with us. I could go on and on with all the wonderful things we have had because of the moment of horror that God blessed us with, but the best thing is, that day was the best thing that could have happened to us all. And we all look back on that day an praise God for it.

Now on to this year. We have come so far since that day, its amazing. Two weeks after Zach's accident, a female dog in Wisconsin had a litter of puppies. And out of that litter we got our wonderful Aleric. Today he got a well needed bath, as did Quincy. While Kacy, Garrett, and Gabe were "playing" it the water, Zach, Dad, Shea were in the shop working on sorting out all of their tools. 
Dad has this neck brace from his days of training for the EMT, Shea wanted to try it on. He had just got in on when dad sent him on a errand, so he got to know what a "pain in the neck" it is.  

Aleric didn't like the idea of a bath to start out with, but he did excellent. Much better than the first time.

July 4 - Firecracker Run with Friends

A couple of years ago, Shea and Garrett ran in the annual Firecracker Run in Brownfield, but they only ran 1 mile. This year Shea tackled the 5K run. He has not been doing any training other than just doing all the normal things he does, but he ran the entire thing and received a metal for fifth place in his age division. We are so proud of him!!!! 
Some friends of ours from Oklahoma got us started in the Firecracker Run and they are here this week to run in it. Their daughter, Evyn, has never run a 5k race either. Both her and her mom earned a medal as well. Everyone did a great job!!! 
Before leaving for the race, however, Shea wanted to set of some of his smoke bombs....on an ant hill...we aren't too fond of ants.

Banner and Ginny sure want to know where that smoke is coming from. Libby is getting used to all out little tricks.
The race is about to start. Where's Waldo? 
Still going strong at the 1/4 point.
He's at the half way point and still going strong.

Made it to the 3/4 mark and he is still smiling, I guess that's good.
Mrs. Jenny and Evyn right before that halfway mark, obviously, by Mrs. Jenny's face, they are still going good. 

Shea finishing with flying colors.

Daddy was bursting with pride.

Tired boy, proud family.

Evyn coming in and had a really good time.

The lady coming up the road ran the full 5k with a baby stroller. Needless to say she got quite a cheer when she came over the finish line.

The three runners.

Evyn and her medal for third place in her age division.

Mrs. Jenny and her medal for 1st in her age division.

Mother and Daughter.
Dad and Mom surprised Shea with a firecracker run t-shirt. He absolutely loved it!

Shea was so worn out, but he felt really good.

Later some other friends, the Tatums, from another part in Texas came to spend the 4th with us. Garrett, Evyn's little brother, Elijah, and Nate Tatum spent most of the afternoon doing what boys do best...climb.

Evyn loved all the baby animals. Last time she was here Banner was just a new baby and we still had puppies. Now she has kittens to love and Dipstick.

Nate the Cat Hoarder. 

Evyn with Dipstick.
We didn't have an amazing stock of fireworks this year, though the boys did get some. But every year we like to get up on the roof and watch the fireworks all around us. We live near lots of small towns so we can see all of their town firework displays and lots of home fireworks.

All of crew on top of the container watching the firework display.

After watching the firework display for a while, we went inside and hung out in Zach's room. We all got into a competition with his weight machine. Evyn would add more weights until the person sitting on the machine couldn't go any further then the next person would try. They entire time we were doing this Zach and Janessa were setting the mood music with the help of a guitar and a mandolin.

Nice face Kole.

Don't make it look so easy. Look how much he is lifting. Each one of those weights are 10lbs.

Here is Zach's limit.
Mrs. Jenny's birthday is tomorrow, so when they were here tonight we held a surprise party for her. I am glad to say that she was adequately surprised.

Janessa made this beautiful cake to celebrate our freedom and the life of a very sweet lady.

After the party we all went that it was thoroughly dark,and shot off the fireworks that the boys had. Shea had some dragon rockets that rolled...well shot across the ground. But we didn't know that it didn't go straight all of the time. To make a long story short, Dad lit the rocket and there was a lot of kids...and mammas scrambling out of the way of a fiery dragon. No one was hurt...other than a heat attack here and there. Does anyone have a firework story? I would love to hear some.

Getting ready to light a cone firework.  I love Gabe's face in this picture.

Kacy's Cone is blowing!!!

All Reacher wanted to do all evening was play fetch... big shocker!

If you look right behind Evyn's head, you can see a firework that is in Brownfield... about 5 miles away.

The killer Dragon.