Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hello again!

First let me apologize for my leave of absence! It wasn't intentional, just kind of happened! I'm not trying to excusing myself as being busy, because aren't we all!? But it just seems that is the story of our life. I wanted to write, well sometimes I did, but then I'd  wonder what makes our life so much more exciting than yours, and why would you read about it?! I finally decided that if you love us, our life is just as important to you, as yours is to us. So alas, I finally decided it was time to give an update from the past 9 months!  I picked a few pictures from each month as a highlight...definitely NOT the whole picture. Here is a glimpse of us doing life in our unexpected place! 
The end of October, Collin turned now he's almost a teenager!
Lucas went on a work team, to Haiti the end of Oct. This was a selfie we sent to him. Complete with a fresh delicious chocolate chip cookie, to let him know what he was missing. We weren't able to connect with him much, but what little we could, was cherished! 
Halloween Characters-Collin: Mr. Smartypants, Bryce: TMNT, Dylan: Dr. Gudeman,
Halle: cheerleader
Our family photos were taken the beginning of November. This is one of my favorites.
This was my plate of dessert on Thanksgiving...there was 5 different kinds of pie...and how could one choose, so I had a sliver of all of them! But I did share!!
First big snow storm! 
Halle and Bryce helping me making Christmas goodies!
We enjoyed opening our Christmas presents early, before we left for Christmas in Illinois. This is a picture of  hugs all around. The kids exchanged gifts they had bought for one another!
Another of my favorite moments...all my siblings together! This is definitely a framer, and has a special place in my home!
After we got home from Christmas in IL, Lucas and Collin started preparing for their work trip to South Carolina, with A.C. Harvest Call. The trip was a first for Collin. He had a wonderful time, and talks about when he can go again.
The past few years in CT, we have had a major snowstorm on, or around my birthday. February 8th for those who want to send presents!;)  This one happened to occur the day after, so I got to spend some quality time with my hubby and kiddos! The best birthday present!
Of course, I do love flowers, and I LOVE receiving them too. My honey gave me 3 dozen roses for my birthday!
Pictured here in the middle is Lucas' Grandma Gudeman. The photo was taken on Valentine's Day. We lost her just a couple weeks later. She is sorely missed and thought of often! She was a wonderful grandma, loved dearly, and gives us another reason to look forward to heaven!
While we were back for the funeral, we had to stop at Connie's Pizza to enjoy some "real" pizza. Pizza on the east coast has only thin crust and is not nearly cheesy enough, according to my husband!
My little helper shooting birds out the window!
After being stuck inside all winter, we had a bit of spring was a warm winter day, and while we couldn't find the sandbox, the diggers worked just fine in the snow!  

Over spring break we headed to IL to help celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary. On the way, we stopped in Sandusky, OH at Great Wolf Lodge, compliments of The BarnYard.
Bryce, Halle, Collin, Dylan
We made it to mom and dad's Monday night, and had a wonderful welcoming committee!
A couch full of LOVE!
Dad and Mom with our kiddos
Tuesday night we had the dinner/party, and took family pictures too. Wednesday morning I took Lucas to the airport to fly home, and the kids and I stayed the rest of the week.
Of course, we couldn't visit IL without seeing both sides of the family. We spent Wednesday with Lucas' family. Here are all the Lucas Gudeman/Joos kiddos! It sure was great to see them too! Enjoy spending time with them when we can.
Collin                                                          Bryce
End of April brought baseball season...which was finally over the beginning of July! Both boys played the regular season, then made the All-star teams for their age group.
Me with my children on Mother's Day!
Bryce, Halle, Dylan, me, Collin
Bryce turned 9!
Lucas the kids on Father's Day
Dylan, Lucas, Halle, Collin, Bryce
Halle is my fabulous helper. She loves kids and started babysitting, helping mom's needing an extra hand. 
This is just a selfie of Dylan and me. We were swinging in the hammock one beautiful summer day!
The week of July 4th Lucas and I both took off from work as a staycation/vacation. We started the week out with projects around the house, a beach day, and just enjoying some lazy summer days. The end of the week we had planned to meet 5 other couples, three from IL and two others from CT, in Cleveland, OH. Two couples were assigned to each of the houses we rented from VRBO. Each house was in charge of a meal for one of the three nights we were together. The plan was to explore Cleveland as you wished, together or on your own. But evenings were spent visiting and enjoying the company of lifelong friends. We bunked with Phil and Beth Endress and their children. We had a great few days, ended the weekend in Akron, OH for church, and made many memories to cherish. 
At the Great Lakes Science Center with Phil and Beth

Friday we explored on our own...first stop was the James A. Garfield monument. Second stop, we met Justin and Lisa Gherian, for a hike at Bridal Veil falls.
After church Sunday, we headed back to CT, minus two children. We sent Halle and Bryce with Lucas' brother Brandon for a week in IL. The house was sure quiet with just my biggest and littlest boys around for the week. We missed the two travelers and were super happy to have every one back under the same roof again!
Look who we found! We sure missed them!
On Dylan's birthday, The BarnYard (where Lucas works) had planned their company picnic at Sonny's Place. Sonny's Place is guaranteed family fun. Not only that, but The BarnYard has built most of the buildings for them. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, and hours of entertainment! So, so much fun!  
 They sang Happy Birthday to Dylan and he got a little cupcake too!
 Hours of fun on the go-carts, zip line, arcade, bowling, mini golf, etc, etc, etc!
 When we got home, we enjoyed Dylan's homemade birthday cake and presents with just us! It's crazy to think he is 4 already. He was only 5 months old when we moved to CT! He told me that after his next birthday he will get to go to kindergarten...whoa buddy, slow down! :)
 His cake
 He had been begging for a scooter, and finally got one!
 Dylan's new baseball glove
And lastly, our new BarnYard shed!
We are loving the look of our new addition, but even more so, the emptiness of the garage!
Going forward, I will try to stay ahead of my updates...but that brings you up to today! I am home alone, as all my kids are with someone else today...with friends, having fun! I sit here enjoying the quiet. I've been texting one of my sisters in law; her telling me she tries to get out and do something with friends at least 2 times a week. She needs the social time to keep her sanity. I had to chuckle, as I sit here in my quiet house, enjoying the peace. I need downtime for my sanity. And I find it so interesting how God made us all different, and yet so perfectly us! No need to compare me to you, or you to her, but just appreciate the things that make each of us special, made in His image. How are you reflecting the Father today?
Until next time...Lots of love and hugs from CT!