Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We all (except Dad) went to Tanganyika on Tuesday.
It was probably the most fun I've had there. 
It was almost as if each animal exhibit we went in..we had to ourselves.
It was an overcast day in the 70's...just perfect for this!

The lorikeets were CRAZY...they were just birds, but they know how to make a person feel a little uneasy!

(My favorite...doesn't Mom look to having a great time!! Not too worry..she didn't really cry..it just looks like she's about to!)

Look at those BIRDS! And poor Ava in the background...they flocked all over her right after this...it wasn't a welcomed invasion.

The one on his neck...just grooming his hair a bit. 

The bunny ate the carrot he had...and took the clothespin it was on too.

We even went on a camel ride!! Noah went with Mom and Mitchell.

The giraffes were so close....SO close...it was awesome.

The kangaroos are so soft...and the tortoises so big.
Christian especially loved the tortoises!

The lemurs..they aren't my favorite, they have a look about them that makes me uneasy...but its fun to watch them interact with people.

Everyone seemed to have such a good time. It is a memorable day for sure!!

That evening we were treated at Mom and Dad's with Carissa's infamous homemade tacos!
A GREAT day indeed :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Plane Party!

It was a big day for sure...we had Noah's dedication in the morning, lunch of pizza at our house...and in the evening...
 we had a birthday party with the Sweigart family for a certain soon-to-be FOUR year old boy, CHRISTIAN!!!

We had spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, jello salad, and cupcakes with 'Planes' on them.
It made it all worth while for me when Christian had woke up from his nap, and I was just finishing up the cupcake decorating....he looked at them, paused, and then his face lit up and he said, "OH my!!! Those are my favorite, I never had anything like that in my whole life!!! I love them!"
I had tried to get him to tell me what kind of cake he wanted prior to the party...and then when we looked for ideas...he saw the new characters for the Planes movie. And that was that, he didn't hesitate for a second. (Who knows if he even will like the movie....if he gets to see it!)

We had planned on doing s'mores or something outside...but the rain decided to start early in the day...and not let up. So, we had made homemade icecream instead...it all worked out! 

Christian got lots of fun new presents..and just as exciting, he got to play with his cousins. 
It's fun to be able to have the Gredler's here to complete the "whole" family festivities!

Ben and Christian didn't waste anytime in putting together his new lego set in the morning...
its amazed me how the both of them were VERY into it!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Noah's Dedication

It was a BIG day!!!
Noah was dedicated at church this Sunday. He did so good up there on stage..just as quiet as can be. We had quite the crew up there with us for his prayer; Paul & Brenda Christophel (our chosen prayer partners for Noah), all my Sweigart family, Great Grandpa John, Great Gpa and Gma Hershberger, and Grandpa & Grandma H. (weren't technically up there because they were in route from Topeka...someone told them the incorrect time for church...he felt bad about it...so I won't go on anymore on that). 

After church, Grandpa & Grandma H, Great Grandpa John, and Sam came over to our house. We had pizza and played for a bit.

So thankful for our faith. And grateful we have a family and church family that is supportive in helping us raise Noah up in a way that he will learn and know the love of Christ, and in turn follow Him!
 We love you Noah Benjamin.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


These two are developing quite the bond...
a bond like no other.

There are already moments of annoyance or frustration because they invade each other's space...

but then there are the ones that they just love each other...climb on each other...hug each other...and make each other giggle SO hard...

and the moments of "big brother" getting to show "little brother" how it works are just priceless.

I have a feeling these two will be quite the pair!

Ava's birthday party

This little lady is eight years old...
She is a cat lover, a great reader, a good care giver to her cousins, and just an all around sweet girl!
Happy Birthday Miss Ava!

Prior to the party...
we had an entire family photo (thanks to Alyssa's brother), a rescue squad that saved one of their three kittens that was REALLY high up in the tree ("Lucky"...appropriately named), the guys played a game of ultimate frisbee, and everyone else just spent time enjoying the weather and backyard.
It was a gorgeous day...absolutley beautiful!

Our family.

Mom and sister.

Sleepy little Noah.

The great kitten rescue.

Beautiful day, indeed.

Me and my Noah Bear.

Alyssa made her a quilt...lot of stitches of love in there!
I like how much you can tell they are a mama and daughter in this picture :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Noah [9 months]

Nine months old...
Noah you are growing up so fast...but you're still my little baby boy!

(This one will have to do, until I get the other one edited right.)

It seems like in the last month you have really changed in many ways...

you are able to whip up into the sitting position like a champ,
you can crawl so quick and so uniform,
you pull yourself up to anything you can possibly get enough grip to do so, 
you WALK alongside the furniture you pull yourself up to,
you CLIMB stairs (what???),
and you finally broke through those ol' teeth...you have 2 1/2, that other bottom one is almost all the way broke through making it 3 (within a couple weeks).

You also enjoy banging your hands against most everything...chairs, toys, people, your crib rail...anything, especially if it makes a noise.

You have started to "sing" when others around you are singing. I noticed it first at church..its funny. You open your mouth and just make noise with the music.

You are starting to babble more and loudly when you do! Your choice words are "ba, baaa, baaaa" every now and then you switch it up with a "daaa daa daaa". (Not exactly "dada" in terms of your daddy however!)

You play shy with people...you like them to look at you and you smile at them, but then quickly tuck your head into me and peek to see if they are still looking.

You have a special liking for me (don't worry I like you too!)...Daddy claims you will be fine for him, until I walk in the room and then you decide you need some attention from only me...happy to oblige. 

You like to play with anything you're not supposed to...anything found on the floor that didn't get swept up in a timely manner. It seems a little crazy that you won't touch the MANY toys that we lay out for you to get into. Although Christian will sometimes leave an intentional trail of your toys to see if you'll stop at each one to check them out...its pretty amusing.

You love "playtime in Christian's room" (as Christian calls it)...where you mosey on in there to check out what's going on. Your favorite spot is to climb on his bed, since its on the floor. But you'll pull up to the train table..if he lets you, and walk around it. You also love your baths with Christian (you sit in your blue tub, while the regular tub is filled for Christian). The two of you can giggle so sweet!

As far as sleep...well, you don't really have much improvement in that area since last month. I don't know what happened from the several weeks that you seemed to have it figured out a couple months back. I don't count how many times you usually wake up in the night...not really a reason to figure that out. But when you do sleep, its the sweetest thing ever. In your crib you usually end up laying on your side, on top of your white blanket (that really has been a little lifesaver at getting you to go down!). And you sleep with the same Christmas lullaby CD that Christian does...we get Christmas tunes all year round I guess! If I can't get you to go to sleep any other way and I've tried feeding you...I rock you and you bury your head downward in between my arm and my chest. Silly guy!

You like to swing. You actually roll out of this hammock swing a little too easy now..because you don't sit still anymore. But you LOVE to be pushed in the baby swing. It relaxes you every time!

Your head sweats...easily! Thankfully the summer has actually been mild!

You love to sit in this position on your Grandpa and Daddy especially. You get up on your little perch and start banging away on their head! This was taken on the boat in Arkansas (we went with the whole Sweigart clan). You were NOT however a fan of the trip there or back...yikes.

You eat...better than you were last month. I think you prefer table food over baby food..but of course not always, because that would mean I could figure it out! Some "table" foods that you seem to like are bread, Cheerios, pineapple, noodles, crackers, meatballs, and your puffs. For some reason you often do better with the baby food that is packaged in the bag with the screw top lid...half of the time, you will eat it directly from the bag if I squirt it in your mouth.
You have a very DIRECT form of communicating that you do not want to eat...you provide the noise (not crying, but a closed mouth version of loud whining), you give the stiff arm swat to get the food away from your mouth, or you finally just start crying and refuse to be convinced that it would be a good idea to eat a meal.

Your hair is light brown, with a tint of strawberry blond in it. Your eyes are still very blue.
You wear mostly 9 month clothing...some 12 month rompers. You wear size 3 diapers.
You are 19 lb 6 oz....and 28 inches tall.

So glad you are growing and healthy...
we love you Noah Bear...a WHOLE bunch!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beaver Lake

The Sweigart family ALL (but Tim G.) spent several days at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.

We spent time swimming, going for rides on the jet ski, playing games, eating good food, and keeping and eye on 8 children.

Grandpa had told a bedtime story about a bear when he was younger on a family camping trip...
then Grandma read "Going on a Bear Hunt" to the kids.

The guys playing the "Construction Game" after the kids were all in bed.

The girls played Ticket to Ride....
and of course we had PLENTY of food to snack on. My personal favorite..Mom's popcorn...yum.

Monday morning there was quite the impressive thunderstorm that was rolling through. Around 7:15 we saw, felt, and heard the VERY close lightning bolt that hit the bird feeder right outside the house. Dad had a big pontoon rented for the day..but that wasn't an option...since the lady said we'd have to come back if it was lightning...not sure why she even bothered saying it was an option to get it, because it was lightning like crazy, and wasn't going anywhere anytime fast. Instead, we played games inside, and by mid afternoon we were able to get in the water by the dock and swim. It ended up being a nice evening.

Brent found a true walking stick...I've never seen one before!

Tuesday, Mitch had to leave for work. But Dad was able to get another pontoon for half a day...so we were able to go out and enjoy the ride. I love riding on the water! We had a picnic boat lunch and swam for awhile...then headed back, so Brent & Alyssa's family could head back home. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming around the dock and going for rides on the jet ski.

Noah showing his pure delight...while banging on Ben's head!

Wednesday was another rainy day. But we planned on heading back anyway. It took all morning to get things cleaned and packed back up.

We had alot of fun...the weather was not maybe agreeable with what we had planned the whole time..but simply being all together (again...we missed Tim) was more than enough to be special!
Thanks for a good time Mom and Dad :)