Tuesday, April 23, 2024

April Happenings

April was a full month!  Colton had two soccer tournaments (one of them out of town) and the girls had many rehearsals for their four performances of Annie.  The older two had their science fair at school, culminating hours upon hours of preparation since January.  All alongside normal life of homework, soccer and gymnastics practice, church and youth group, and various other things.  All went smoothly and well, but it is good to back to a more manageable pace of life! 

The Dells

Colton's team played in a soccer tournament in the Dells a few weeks ago.  We pulled the kids out of school for a day, and spent Thursday night and Friday playing at the waterpark before all the soccer games started.  It was a really fun weekend with teammates and friends and we made a lot of memories.

Coach Thomas is really amazing with the boys.

Summer and friend Maya (Logan's sister) were inseparable.  Here they built a fairy house at one of the games.


The girls had so much fun in Annie this year!  Both girls were born for the stage!   Larkyn played Molly, the youngest orphan.  Whether she was chatting with Annie, teasing Ms. Hannigan, singing her solos, dancing, or pretending to be Ms. Hannigan (standing on the bed and shouting orders to her fellow orphans), she played this role to its fullest, complete with all manner of dramatic flair!   

Summer had the opportunity to play many different roles, all of them alongside her best UCA friend Allegra.  The two of them ham it up all of the time, and on a stage is no exception.  It was hilarious to watch the two of them play off of each other to make their characters come alive.  The two of them played the two radio announcers (complete with a fun choreographed dance with top hats and canes to "You're Never Fully Dressed without a Smile).  They also acted as cabinet members for Roosevelt, full of personality!  The two of them were also background characters in many various scenes such as the slum scene, in NYC, and as staff in Warbuck's house.

We weren't allowed to take video or pictures during the performances, so I just have a few post performance pictures and memories!   We were told that they took photos with a nice camera during one of the performances, so if I get those I will post them here at that time.

Thank you to ALL of the family and friends that came to support and cheer on our girls!  A special shout out to Grandma and Grandpa T, Gee Gee Sandy, Grandma and Grandpa K, Auntie Kristin and the cousins, Jenna and Matthew, Nate and Shelby, Uncle Scott and Aunt Brenda, The Tobalski family, the Herzog family, and more.  They loved seeing you in the audience!

Science Fair

Summer and Colton have been working on their science fair projects since January.  Summer chose to research at what age a person becomes recognizable as their adult self.  She spent hours collecting pictures of friends at various ages and compiling a survey in which she had 100 respondents guess which pictures (age 0, 5, 8, 10, 13) matched with a given adult picture.  A huge shout out to all of the friends and family that collected pictures of themselves at various ages to send to her to use for her project and also to those who helped her by taking her survey.   Thank you, also, to Grandpa T for teaching Summer the ways of Google Sheets to aid her in analyzing her data.  Summer was thrilled to get 3rd place in Middle School for her project.

Colton chose to do his science fair project with his friend Isaiah.  Their research question was asking which gender of owner knows their dog's bark the best.  They collected many recordings of dogs' barks, put them into a video with numbers assigned to each bark, and asked owners to identify which bark was their dogs.  Both Isaiah and Colton learned a ton about how to do a research project and are already excited for the next round.

We will wrap up April with a soccer tournament next weekend.  May will be filled with end of year concerts and fun as we countdown to summer break!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Colton's Birthday

Colton had a very fun and spread out 12th birthday.  On his actual birthday, the girls had late practice for Annie (Tech Week), so I just picked Colton up from school.  He pooled Christmas money and birthday money from multiple family members to purchase a new mountain bike.  Even though he picked it out, we kept it "hidden" in the garage under a blanket until April 10th.  

He was so excited that we took it out for a ride right after school (mountain bike trails weren't open yet for the year).

He spent the rest of the afternoon before soccer working on making "parallel circuits" with an electricity set that his favorite teacher, Dr. Morrison, let him borrow.  While he worked, he asked me to read to him the book we have been reading together.  I love that he still loves to read with me even though he is in middle school!

He had team soccer pics on his birthday so we headed there next.  Then after soccer pics, Paul and I took Colton out to eat (just us 3) to a burger place.  

When the girls got home from practice, we had his choice of brownies, ice cream, and banana bread waiting for him to celebrate!   

We gave him one item (besides money toward the mountain bike) - mountain bike shorts.  The girls gave him their gifts (a wireless computer mouse and a handheld travel fan - both items on his list) and we had a fun family evening guessing Colton's "favorites".

That weekend, we celebrated with breakfast in bed, along with going out to eat with Grandma and Grandpa T to his choice, a Gyro place.  

The following weekend he celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa K going out to his choice, Culver's.  

Thank you, Grandparents, for loving on our boy so much and for your generous gifts toward his new mountain bike!

Instead of a party this year, Colton chose to invite one of his best friends (Isaiah) and his dad to go to a MNUFC soccer game.  Isaiah is probably the only friend of Colton's that has him beat in hair length!

Colton - you are truly a gift.  I love watching you grow and learn as you tackle book after book of the Bible.  I love your motivation to do your best in all things soccer, practicing in your spare time when you don't have practice.  I love your love for playing with little kids and how they adore you at school, church, and soccer.  I love your passion for science and figuring out how things work.  You are a great conversationalist and thinker and you truly want to honor the Lord.  I love watching you be a leader at school and church this year, leading worship on drums, volunteering to speak in chapel, and jumping right in to help wherever is needed.  I love you and am so proud of you.  Stay close to Jesus, always.  

Sunday, March 31, 2024


We flew home from Puerto Rico the day before Easter.  We loved being at our own church to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  Despite not having anything in the plastic eggs, the kids begged to hide them for each other and spent hours on Easter afternoon hiding, finding, and coming up with riddles to help their siblings find the eggs they had hidden.  They had a blast!  They also got really creative in their egg decorating this year!  It was really fun that our neighbor Mr. Ken and his sister Gayle came with us to church on Easter Sunday.  Mr. Ken enjoys giving the kids lots of candy!