Sunday, July 27, 2008

6 Years Strong

Luke and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary last Sunday, the 20th. We always enjoy reminiscing about how far we've come since the day we met...and the day we were married. Eight years ago I was getting ready to transfer into IWU and wasn't exactly thrilled about it. I had no idea that just a few short months later I would meet the man of my dreams. It's amazing how the Lord directs those paths...The funny thing is when we got married 6 years ago I had no idea I could ever be happier than I was that day. Boy, was I wrong. Here we are with 2 amazing children and a marriage so much stronger and deeper than I could have imagined. In the last 6 years we've shared many exciting job opportunities, trips, new found friendships, new churches, and of course James and Lauren. If you would have told me 6 years ago that I could be happier and more fulfilled than I was that day, I wouldn't have believed you. I have to give lots of credit to Luke and his commitment for perfection in our marriage and nothing less. Those of you who know him know how true this is. He's my best love. I'm not always really great with my words, but honey...know that I love you more than anything. Happy Anniversary! May the next 6 years be as amazing as the last....I love you!
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Eight is Great!

Lauren turned 8 months on Friday and once again, where has time gone? She is such a joy and we are getting to see a glimpse of her sweet personality more and more each day. She moves around at her leisure, but doesn't seem to be as "busy" as James was. She loves to pull herself up on everything and just stand looking around at everything. Recently she has started letting go and attempting to balance upright. She can stand for a split second before gracefully falling down (well, it's really not that graceful). She is very noisy right now and it's fun to hear her jabber. She squeals very loudly when you take something away from her. She might be our feisty one. Luke says she'll be "just like her mother." Who me??? She definitely knows what she wants! :) She loves watching other kids and is quite fascinated with animals. She doesn't seem to have any separation anxiety right now which is nice. I think she used it all up the first 6 months! She goes into the church nursery without a whimper. Our little Lou-Lou is barrels of fun! Luke and I enjoy her more and more each day and James is still pretty smitten with her. With the exception of the occasional head-bop. :) We feel incredibly blessed to have been given this little love and raise her is a real privilege.
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fair Junkies

Do we look like the regualr fair-goers????

James got to ride in the back of the truck with grandma and grandpa to get their car. He thought that was pretty great! So that's what we have to do to get him to smile and look at the camera! =)

Yes, were were fair junkies this year. What, are you surprised??? For three nights we packed up the kids, two strollers, diapers, bottles, snacks, a change of clothes, cameras, and other "kid"necessities and took the kids out to the fair. We had such a great time and the kids enjoyed themselves so much we just kept going back. We took the kids out on Sunday night (on our anniversary. very romantic i might add :) and let James see the animals, tractors, and the other goodies at the fair. He loved it and Lauren enjoyed herself too. We had free passes for Tuesday evening so we invited Luke's parents to come up and experience the Elkhart County 4-H Fair with us. We thought they would enjoy seeing James in his "element." They had a great time and so did James. He loves his grandma and grandpa. And I'm not going to extra 2 pair of hands sure was helpful! Once again I had some free passes yesterday so we decided since the weather was beautiful to take full advantage of the experiences that were 10 minutes away. We sure had a nice time and had some great laughs. James has been talking about the fair an awful lot this week and we've been praying for the animals at nap time and yes, even the tractors. We have lots to look forward to next year and Lauren will be able to enjoy it even more. I've already started inquiring about how to get James an animal (preferably a cow) to participate in the fair. It's still a ways away...he has to be 10. Ha, never too early to start thinking, huh?

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God Bless the Animals

Lauren even got in on the action. She liked watching the animals.

James wanted to go on a pony ride and talked about it all day on Tuesday, so we let him ride. We didn't know if he'd like it once it started moving, but he LOVED it. His pony's name was Hannah. He liked it so much he wanted to ride a second time and we let him. It was so fun watching him with these new experiences.

One of my old 5th grade students brought her cow out for James to pet.

James watched some kids feeding grass to one of the horses so he went over to pick his own. It was precious because the first time he just picked a few blades and the horse didn't even bother taking a bite. So grandpa helped pick some more and helped him keep his palm flat so the horse could eat. James thought that was just great. We went to another horse barn later where he found hay to feed the horses. He wasn't scared at all. Not even by their enormous teeth!!!

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Mmmmm...fair food

The Dairy Bar has the BEST ice cream! James ate lots of it too!

ok, this wasn't part of the fair food, but it will eventually make a LOT of bacon! You can't tell it by this picture, but this pig was GIGANTIC!!! It weighs almost 1,000 lbs. I mean what point did the owners realize they didn't exactly have a Wilbur on their hands?? I think it's too big to even move...

Good ole' corn dog...Luke got his annual cheese on a stick or as I think of it, "clogged arteries on a stick," and James asked for a corn dog. He loved it and ate the entire thing. It was fun seeing him indulge and enjoy unhealthy but delicious fair food. Next year Lauren can indulge a bit too!

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More From the Fair

Our two little fair-goers

This was hilarious...if you give the monkey a quarter he takes it and then shakes your hand. James thought it was pretty funny and so did we. He gave him$.75 and got 3 hand shakes. Maybe I need to buy a monkey and make a little extra money =)

Many people were very gracious with letting James pet (and sit on) their animals. This man let James sit on the cow. He really did like it but once again you wouldn't know it by his serious face.

We saw many, many tractors which James loved almost as much as the animals. He went around to all of the different ones and sat on them and pretended to ride.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Swimming Basics

The only way the instructor could get him to put for any effort in swimming the first few days was to have him chase after Nemo.

Kick, kick...splash, splash...

this is what they reiterated to him

He held on to the wake board and learned how to kick his feet pretty well.

James had a two week swim session where he learned everything he needed to know about swimming. Well, not really but he learned some basics and really seemed to enjoy himself. You'd never have known it by these pictures or by watching him as he kept the same serious, inquisitive look on his face the ENTIRE time. I just wanted to scream, "Show some emotion, kid!" He learned how to move his arms and kick his feet and they even put him under water each time. He wasn't so sure about that. They tried to convince him to jump off the diving board on the final day, but he wanted nothing to do with that. He just wanted to watch all of the older kids do it. He is definitely our "play it safe" child. He has LOTS of his daddy in him :) I'm sure he will enjoy them even more next summer. Both Lauren and James have an underwater photo shoot next week so hopefully that goes well. I'm excited but a bit nervous about putting Lauren underwater at this age. I'm the mom, I HAVE to worry. I will be sure to show you the pictures (that is if if all comes together- anything can happen with these two...)

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Up, Up and Away

So for about 3 weeks now Lauren has been pulling herself up on things. She especially likes to pull up on the little chairs at James' table. Those make me a little nervous, but she's pretty proud of herself. (as you can see by these monstrous smiles :) )It's so funny because she is doing everything SO much earlier than James ever did and you always hear that is true of the second child and so far, that's the case. She is so very happy! My personal favorite is when she pulls up on our legs. I remember how fun that was with James and it is just as special with Lauren. She may be walking by 10 months at this rate...

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Winter Sickness in the Dead of Summer

Where have I been you may all be wondering??? Well, in a nutshell this is what the last 2 weeks have thrown an us. On the Monday evening following the 4th of July James decided to have his own version of fireworks when he vomited all over. Poor Luke...I was at water aerobics when it happened. He was a real champ though! He came down with some sort of stomach bug (we think). Lauren also was sleeping poorly and had a fever. By Wednesday, Lauren was throwing up constantly. She caught the worse end of the stomach flu and couldn't keep anything down. I put sheets and receiving blankets all over the floor, so when she would throw up, all I had to do was pick up the blankets and throw them in the wash. It worked like a gem! She was actually pretty happy during the flu process, but had a rough time sleeping. She wasn't herself either until Tuesday. When James wasn't getting better by Friday I took him into the doctor where she treated him for possible strep throat and a little infection that had developed on his hand over the weekend. The antibiotic killed two birds with one stone...thankfully. It took James really until Tuesday to be back to his "old self."

And then what happened you may be wondering...I woke up Monday night about 2:50 a.m. literally feeling like I had been trampled by a bull. I don't know if I have ever experienced such severe body ache like I felt that night along with a sore throat and a ridiculously high fever. I could hardly get out of bed. My fever hovered between 102-103 until early Wednesday afternoon when it finally broke. Even then I felt miserable. I was so sick I couldn't even sleep...I'm telling you, it was BAD! Anyway, I finally got into the doctor yesterday and was diagnosed with a bad case of STREP throat. I double dosed on my antibiotics and started feeling better last night. Thankfully I'm feeling pretty good now, but boy it's been a rough 2 weeks at the Carpenter household.
**FYI-when I went to the doctor yesterday, it had been the 3rd time in 5 days between me and both kids.

So, I don't think this was really in a nutshell, but a lot has still happened in the last 2 weeks and I do have pictures to post, I just have to get working on them. So, I promise to update this weekend! Life still went on and I still did manage to get some pictures along the way!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Litte Champ

She was so tired by this time. We tried to get her down to sleep, but she didn't want to miss a thing. Bless her heart!

This face is more of what we saw all weekend!

What a champ our little Lauren was over the weekend! We forced her to ride in the car a lot, made her miss her daily naps, put her to sleep in places other than her own bed, and had her staying up much later than normal. But, she didn't seem to mind too much. She even stayed up to watch the fireworks in daddy's lap on Sunday night. It was the sweetest thing and I wish I could have gotten a picture. She was all wrapped up in a blanket and all you could see was her little face peeking through. It was just precious... her next fourth of July she'll be up and around. She's almost there now!

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Sparklers, Sparklers, Sparklers

We went to some friends of ours for a cookout on Sunday night and then to watch the fireworks display at our local golf course. Once again the kids had a great time. James hit a few rough patches throughout the night when he saw some policeman riding horses. He didn't understand why he couldn't ride them too :( But thankfully the sparklers saved the night. He enjoyed fireworks so we thought he would enjoy some sparklers. He loved them. The kids did them one right after the other. Luke was the "go to guy" with the lighter and for a while every kid's best friend! It looked like he was trying to hold the sparkler every which way he could. Unfortunately he did get a sparkler burn on his hand, but we're tending to that and he'd probably say it was worth it.
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First Real Swim of the Summer

We spend most Friday night and Saturday with Luke's family in Ft. Wayne and they worked hard to have the pool clean and ready for James to swim. It was extremely cold, so daddy was voted unanimously to taking him swimming :) He wasn't real sure about the water at first but the temperature didn't seem to bother him. Luke on the other hand had a tough time getting used to swimming in the arctic like temperatures. Grandma bought him a float that he loved. It was a dinosaur. He enjoyed handing on to the handles and having Luke pull him around the pool. Then he wanted to just fall off in the water and have Luke catch him. By the end his lips were a little blue and his teeth were chattering, but he LOVED it. We're hoping it will be a little warmer next time and we can take Lauren in for a dip. Good times...

James had a great time at grandma and grandpa's as usual. He got to see the tree frog he always looks for, play in the garage, swim, see the mommy cat and Gabby (the dog), stay up late, and watch fireworks. But more importantly he got to spend time with his family that he loves so dearly. We can't wait to see you all again!
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God Bless America

We can't ever get him to look at the camera, but he's always up for giving Lauren a kiss! :) It's usually the first thing he does when we sit her up next to him.

James jumped on a trampoline for the first time at my aunt and uncle's house and LOVED it!!!

James loved carrying this flag around all weekend.

Our 4th of July weekend was very full of fun, family, and fireworks!!! We spent the weekend in Ft. Wayne visiting lots of family. The kids were great even though their schedules were a bit off. I don't think James minded the few naps and staying up until 11:00 at night!!! :) He loves to go new places and find new things to do and yes, he still wants to look in everyone's garage to see their mowers and shop vacs and such. Is this normal?? Lauren was great for her first 4th of July. She even had a little patriotic dress for the day. She was very happy and content even though she slept a total of an hour the ENTIRE day!
I am so thankful to live in a free country. Not only can we do all of the great activities on this celebrated holiday, but we are allowed to enjoy our freedom year round. God bless America!!!!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Day at the Beach...

Today was a great day! In fact, James stayed up last night until about 10:45 jabbering about all of the things he was going to do today and the friends he was going to see! And it was as great as he hoped for. My friend Lindsay (Addie's mom) lives on Lake Syracuse and there is a beach/playground close to her house. So, we packed up all 6 kids and headed for the beach. It was the perfect set-up because the beach was next to the playground, so we could all watch the kids wherever they were at. Of course the kids had a great time too! James enjoyed the water and playing on the playground. After we were done there, we headed back to Lyndsay's for lunch and more fun! The kids were great and get along well! That makes play dates even more enjoyable!

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