Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Birthday Part One

Our little Avi Joy turned four years old on April 23rd! We head out to St. Louis every year to celebrate my dad's birthday and both our kiddos birthday's with all our MO family. My aunt made lasagna and my uncle bought her flowers for her birthday.
The last few moments of her birthday day...heading off to bed in dress-up clothes- her hello kitty leo. She truly lives up to the meaning of her name, "My Father's Joy," and brings us unspeakable joy as well. We talked about her birthmother before we went to bed. Sharing that she was thinking about her today as well and of course I cried and told her that her birthday makes mommy so happy and thankful that she is in our family forever.
Avi Joy helping shave her grandpa Ken's beard.
Nehemiah's turn. The kids loved helping as you can imagine... all my dad's idea by the way.
The day of the triple birthday party. The girls were off to primp and Avi Joy got to wear a little make-up to her party!
The girls.
Avi Joy- ONE
Avi Joy- TWO
Avi Joy- THREE
Avi Joy- FOUR
Usually it is sunny in St. Louis, but this time it rained on and off the four days we were there. Good thing our family likes the rain!
Handsome Nehemiah ready for the party. His actual birthday is May 18th, his party will be "Birthday Part Two."
The boys.
My two aunts and lil' n.
This is one of my favorite pictures of our time in St. Louis. My aunt and cousin and my kiddos all laughing. Its is a melt-your-heart-one for me.
I made stromboli for dinner with sides and dessert. Can you tell what is going on in this pic? All the men all headed for the food at the same time.
All the McHale ladies.
My uncle Tim made the kids/himself crowns... Nehemiah is the Prince.
Avi Joy is the Princess. My uncle Tim is the coolest king. Yes, on the front it says, "Coolest Uncle," on the side it says, "That's what she said!" He is a riot to say the least.
We always have themes for their party. Last year it was "Read to me" asking for books. This year it was Crafts and Outdoors. She got things she can make and he received things he that can go outside.
Dress up shark hat.
Buzzzzzz hat.
Bubble gun was the hit. Although sharing was an issue.
Hugs from Knowlton my cousin. I have cousins from 35 years old down to my uncle expecting a baby this week! Wide range of kiddos in our family and I love it!
We had a great time in St. Louis with our family. They are so loving and hospitable and our time there always seems too short. We love you all!

Romans 16, "Greet one another with a holy kiss."

The Perryman Family

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In The Garden

Let's start off with some quotes about gardening shall we?

"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas." Elizabeth Murray

"I was determined to know beans." Henry David Thoreau

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." Margaret Atwood

Well, the earth did become my canvas over the last month. And I am determined to know beans, I get you Henry. And oh yes, we smelled like dirt!

I drew out plans, we went and bought untreated cedar and began our construction.
Here is the layout. Pun intended. Avi Joy told me that when NanNa (my mom) watched her recently they went and laid out in the sun and talked. I so love this. Let us never be too busy to just layout and talk. So in the middle of this project we soaked in the sun and talked about girly things. The days are fleeting readers, slow down and layout (P.S. We do wear sunblock daily : )
We had to terrace the beds. A big job for sure. The back three are complete and filled. The front three beds we had to dig out most of the dirt so they would be level.
We took a popcorn break. I love sun glares.
Dirty little guy. Always. Both the kids so enjoy a popcorn treat- and talk about cheap and easy!
Within 24 hours of these pictures, comes this picture. Yes, seriously. Not a popcorn break, but a two day snow break during spring break.
The sunshine came back and my seeds arrived. I talked with a neighbor who has a garden to see which veggies I could/should plant together. Then I measured and dug my little rows.
Avi Joy's great grandma (my mom's mom) send us some Chinese Okra. Lil' Joyjoy loves her some Okra- in every form, so that is the first thing we planted. Putting the seed in and covered it up. She was a wonderful helper during this project.
In our beds we have:
1- Okra, green beans, peas, soy beans, lima beans
2- Squash and zucchini
3- Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, onion
4- Tomatoes, red peppers, bush beans, artichokes
5- watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin
6- lettuce, cabbage, leek, parsnips, carrots

I have strawberries sitting on the side that I have not planted yet and some possible thornless blackberry bushes my friend might give me, so all in all- we did a bit of this and that.
You might be an avid gardener and be seriously LAUGHING at my layout or choice of veggies, but hey- at least I am trying. We shall see what comes up, what does well, what is delicious or disgusting. I am looking forward to it all!
I also gave the kiddos some messy outside craft time during our garden prep. They played with the shaving cream for about 30 minutes. Trust me it did not stay on the baking trays. They quickly discovered it was fun on the house, the fence and the grass. But nothing held their attention as long as...
Cutting the grass with scissors. Both Nehemiah and Avi Joy have done this every day for weeks now. They LOVE it, great- easy- fun- playtime idea.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener." John 15:1

The Perryman's

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Weekend!

We started off Easter weekend by dropping off our kiddos at the Homans on Friday night. As you can see they SO enjoyed playing dress-up with one another. Love Andrews leo and the combo of princess and ski wear. We headed to our community group leaders house to take communion together and watch The Passion of the Christ.
On Saturday we boiled our eggs. It was neat to open the egg carton and see a scripture right there, "This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
Nehemiah dyeing his eggs. He "struggles" with gentleness, so needless to say a few eggs were harmed during the dyeing process.
Avi Joy had a great time too. I did like last years kit better. Tie dye in the baggies. Easier for the kids and way more vibrant colors.
We added glitter to some.
And used dye q-tips and drew on the other half.
I LOVE the finished eggs. Aren't they just beautiful?!
Then on Sunday we woke up realllly early and attended our churches 7:30am service! My mom, step-dad and sis were able to join us and that was a blessing.
Everyone came over to our house for lunch (breaking the fast you know!) and the kids opened their presents from their grandparents. My mom got the kiddos the cutest aprons- they are always in the kitchen with me.
And lil' joy's apron.
Eating lunch together. We prepared Monterey Chicken (bacon, onions and cheese on chicken), salad, mash potatoes, cauliflower bake and strawberry lime lemonade.
Followed by my famous cheesecake (totally from scratch) covered in caramel sauce. I had a girlfriend over the next day and made her a piece. She ordered some on the spot for a family members birthday coming up- talk about making you feel good! Since Sunday, I have had, 7 pieces, yes, seven- breaking the fast you know allows me to seriously enjoy indulging in cheesecake. Once piece after each meal : )
Then an Easter egg hunt in our backyard.
Nehemiah was trying to get the hang of it, but he just wanted to open them and not really hunt.
After naps we made our Jesus Risen Rolls. You let Rhodes Rolls thaw out. Smash them down. Place your Jesus marshmallow inside. Wrap Him up in the tomb. Roll Him in dirt (cinnamon and sugar) and bake!
Cut them open and He has risen! They are empty inside. Then we all had them along with dinner.
It was a fantastic Easter. Celebrating the Truth of the season with children is just precious beyond words. We are so thankful for Jesus and our family. Thank you Lord for being the first gift giver! "For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only son, that whosoever believes in Jesus, shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

The Perryman Family