Monday, October 31, 2011

The Little Sister Part 2

Just a few more pictures to share...there are so many from our three weeks together!  Some of the fun things we were able to do while they were here were... visit three castles (or castle ruins), walk around town, go for an overnight to a hotel in Poland where we enjoyed swimming in the pool and hot tub (thanks, Grandma Milly, for treating us to such a fun time with everyone!), many coffee shop visits, date nights (the four adults together, and then the Daddy-Daughter Date to the ice cream shop), and many game nights and late night talks.  Just being together was a treat for everyone...the kids always had someone to play with!  Cole (their oldest) even went to school with Gage for a day!  

Erin and Jaylin on the way down from a castle

Yes, they actually wore these to the hotel pool!

At the hotel in Poland

DATE NIGHT at the underground restaurant!!!!

Sipping lattes in the castle courtyard

The Bonawitz family at the castle

The much-anticipated Daddy-Daughter Date!!!

Three happy girls!
She just cracks us up!

These two are quite a pair!
The moms and boys spent the evening playing LEGOS and Sardines!
Off to school...buddies!

At the school, changing into their slippers.

Thanks for coming, Chad and Erin!  We love you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Little Sister

One of the reasons we were so thrilled that God blessed our family with Shaylee, #5, is that she became the younger sister that I really longed for Jaylin to have.  I have only sisters, no brothers, and have been blessed beyond words with my relationships with both of my sisters. When I was pregnant with Gage and then with Shaylee, I really wanted the baby to be a sister for Jaylin, because I knew how much I loved having sisters that became my best friends.  God gave us Gage, and then He gave us Shaylee, and of course, now we can't imagine it any other way.  I am completely thankful for each of my kids, and because of my childhood, I am especially happy that my girls have each other.  And, if Ed were to add his two cents to this introduction, he would be especially happy and thankful (because of his adventurous brother-heavy childhood) that our boys each have two brothers!  Anyway, this introduction is NOT heading toward announcing another child in our family...because I am NOT pregnant...but to let you know exactly how thrilled I have been these past three weeks when MY beautiful little sister, Erin Bonawitz, came all the way here with her awesome husband, Chad, and their three kids...Cole (5), Brynlee (4) and Mason (3)!  We have been soaking up the time with them, enjoying every minute of their being here with us.  Our kids have LOVED the cousin time, and have once again, loved the chance to get to know better another amazing aunt and another fun uncle!

It seems like so long ago that together we were all planning this trip of theirs...Ed and I were here, thinking of all the plans we could do with them once they got here, and they were on their end arranging all the tickets, passports, and other travel details.  And now as I sit and blog about it, I can't believe that it's done.  The time has already come and gone, like a snap. They've come, they've blessed us, and now they've gone back home.  It was an amazing three weeks with them, and we definitely made some unforgettable memories.  I will try to condense our three weeks into two blog posts, in order to show a good sampling of all that we did together.  The sequel will be coming shortly, with more pictures.  Thank you, Chad and Erin, for braving the intimidating travel experience with your three little ones, in order to see our world and to be with us!  We are so thankful that we were able to have so many great times with you, and to get to know your kids better!  We love you both, we love your kiddos, and we can't wait to be with you again in the summer when we're home!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Halls

At the end of September, Ed went to our Josiah Venture Fall Conference in the Czech Republic, which is the conference that the kids and I don't go to, as it is not set up for kids.  So my friend Gretchen Hall, also serving with JV, and her kids came to spend the week with us while our husbands were at this conference.  It was perfect having another mom and three more kids here for the week, much more fun than being alone.  The husbands returned after the conference, and we enjoyed time together as families again.  This was the same family with whom we spent the week at the beach back in August.  We spent a morning at a town near us where there are many old World War II trucks and tanks.  The kids loved climbing on all of them.  We loved having Justin and Gretchen and their kids here in our home!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wendi's 40th

Yes, I hit the big year...the big 4-0.  I didn't feel it until the very minute I turned 40 either.  The boys are always interested in the very minute that a birthday hits.  (Since Jaylin was born at 9:30 at night, the boys always like to remind her all day on her birthday that she isn't yet a year older...until the time of birth.  And then, when you throw in the compensation for the USA time zone in which we were all born, the boys like to tell Jaylin that her true birthday isn't even until the middle of the night over here where we are.)  Anyway, they knew my adjusted Slovak birth time, and at 6:45 pm, they ran in and said..."NOW, Mom, you're 40!!!  Then I felt old!  :-)

It was a great birthday.  We celebrated the weekend before by going with our good Slovak friends, Draho and Zuzka Poloha and their kids, to the mountains.  We spent some time at the allegedly most beautiful location in Slovakia, Strbske Pleso (I know, you feel that you need more vowels in that word, but it is spelled correctly).  There is a gorgeous lake there that we spent some time walking around, and then we spent a lot of time talking and enjoying time with these friends.  Then, on my birthday, the Monday after, Ed baked me a pan of caramel birthday brownies and took me out to eat alone.  It was perfect!