Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Birthday Boys, Part 2

Just over a week after we celebrated Joshua's 7th birthday, Jeremiah turned 2 years old!

I don't know if it's the age or the personality, but this kid is seriously loveable.  He talks up a storm, gets frustrated easily, and smiles and laughs most of the time.

We originally had his favorite meal on the menu for his birthday dinner - bean and rice "taco burritos".  But since Mom overlooked the need for refried beans, we changed up our plans.  Oh, well...at least he was able to enjoy one of his favorite treats - ice cream.  After the older kids showed him how to blow out the candles, he exclaimed, "Mommy, candles blow out on my ice cream!"

And then he proceeded to have a massive tantrum because we would not allow him a second scoop.  Poor guy.  :(  Two killer teeth coming through, a shorter than usual nap, and only one scoop of ice cream was more than he could handle.

Being two can be rough sometimes!

Tears and tantrums aside, we are so grateful to have this little guy in our midst.  He is such a delight!

We love you Jeremiah!

Birthday Boys, Part 1

I fell a bit behind on posting the birthdays.  Oh, well...it's not like we haven't had much going on around here these past couple of weeksReally, with five kids now 7-years-old and younger we're never busy.  Nope.  Never.

We kicked off our 2014 Birthday Line Up a couple weeks ago.  Joshua waited for his birthday for approximately 365 days.  He was bursting with excitement when he woke up to find some balloons and streamers in his doorway - red, white, and blue at this patriot's request.

For some reason I can only take fuzzy pictures, so bear with me on some of these.

At Joshua's request we had Pad Thai, dumplings (potstickers), and cheesecake for his birthday celebration.  The Valentino Family cheesecake tradition shows no signs of fading in our little branch of the family tree.  Joshua has been helping to make cheesecake since he could hold a spatula.

This year, with a few directions from Mom, Joshua made the cheesecake himself.

It's hard to believe that 7 years have already gone by since this special guy came into our lives.  His many interests and big ideas make every day an exciting adventure!

We love you, Joshua!  We are proud of you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Matter What Happens...

Claude and I had plans for this weekend.  Big plans.  Plans that involved planes, babysitters, and a hike here:

Photo from www.huffingtonpost.com
But sometimes God has other plans.  Instead of trekking through Shenandoah National Park, I found myself sitting here.

"Here" was just minutes from our house, in an empty surgery waiting room.  It was quiet and peaceful on a Saturday morning.  The nurse thought I might like the TV on while I waited, but I assured her that with five little ones at home tI welcomed one or two hours of dim lights and no noise.

And here is where Claude found himself.  Probably not as nice as having some quiet time in an empty waiting room, but at least the pain he had all of Friday was about to be remedied.

And here is the note that I found in my Bible just a few minutes after Claude was taken to the surgical suite to have his appendix removed.

A good reminder from our 5-year-old!

From last minute childcare throughout the weekend, to a great hospital just minutes down the road, and everything already set up for Claude and I to be away for the weekend, God worked out each detail of this unexpected set of circumstances.  With weeks of planning we could not have orchestrated this half as well.

Maybe another weekend Claude and I will find ourselves hiking (alone!) through the Blue Ridge Mountains.  For now we are enjoying being back together at home.  And we are praising God for His grace and goodness, and for the wonderful friends who have helped us out and prayed for us in the last 48 hours.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Snapshots: VBS, Group Photos, and Free "Chikin"

This past week has been exciting!  The kids and I (Becca) were a part of our church's Vacation Bible School.  Joshua and Hannah participated with the older children and I had the opportunity to teach the toddlers and preschoolers.  Jeremiah and Abigail were part of my class.
Jeremiah summed up how most of the VBS volunteers undoubtedly felt this week when he told me, "Don't sleep very much.  I tired."
Hannah left us a few notes from what she learned at VBS.

We made some new Chew Crew shirts over the weekend, so on our way to VBS on Monday morning we tried to get a group photo with the kids.  You can see a fairly successful attempt on our Meet the Crew page.  Here are the outtakes.

To finish off the week, we all dressed up like cows and enjoyed some free "chikin" as part of Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day.  You can't beat a $40 meal that is completely free!


Snapshots: Fourth of July and Costco with the Crew

Last weekend we celebrated the Fourth of July by watching a parade in a nearby neighborhood and having lunch with some friends afterwards.

On Saturday we braved Costco with the entire Crew.

Having another able-bodied person to push the stroller is becoming very handy!

And after our shopping we enjoyed lunch for only $12.  Can't beat that!