Friday, July 29, 2016

A Little (or a lot?) of This and That!

Summertime has officially been super-mega-crazy-busy for this little family!  Seriously, since the middle of May until now, every weekend and multiple week nights have been packed with activity.  Everything from graduation parties to garage sales, homeschool group meetings to book club meetings, hosting friends and family for dinner parties (sometimes up to 30 people!) and overnights, from speaking engagements to VBS drama practices, AWANA meetings to mission trip meetings, and a whole bunch of birthdays in between...our family has been going non-stop.  

Add to these commitments three energetic children, a big garden, a dozen chickens (minus two now), three turkeys, and two fish, and well, you know why I haven't been very present on the blog lately. :)  I've missed it!  And I've still been snapping pictures of our day-to-day lives in the midst of all the craziness, so please humor me while I upload away to my little heart's content in this delightfully quiet hour...

Isaac, our budding pianist.  
He loves to play his own "compositions" while singing words from familiar Sunday school songs. :)  It's really quite adorable.

Back in the day when we did school-type activities more consistency (before the full summer craziness hit), Isaac enjoyed playing with pattern blocks on a mirror one morning.  

It gave a whole new dimension to the usual block-building fun!

JoJo enjoyed the activity as well!

Some days are just a muffin-in-a-mug kind of day. Chocolate, specifically.

Adoniah enjoying his rice cake with apple butter.

The rodeo came to town back in May, so Isaac and I went on a special date to see it!  His favorite part was jumping in a bounce house, of course. :)

My little buddy.

For a small town rodeo, there were a lot of neat events to watch.  

Meanwhile, back in school, we made a caterpillar out of an egg carton.  Isaac had to put the numbers 1-12 in a row and then fill each piece with the right amount of blueberries.

He LOVED this activity, and it made for a convenient snack too. :)

Building birds' nests out of play dough.

The very first harvest from our garden - spinach!  Much more came off those spinach plants as the weeks progressed.  We've also had great success with lettuce, grape tomatoes, potatoes, squash, and zucchini.  Corn, sweet potatoes, and melons are still growing nicely.  Other vegetables like green beans, peas, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower didn't do so well.  There was a lot of learning and experimenting taking place this year!

Adoniah has learned to stand and cruise around the furniture.  He also just started taking unassisted steps last week, so I'm sure he will be walking in no time!

Happily cooking in their kitchen. :)

Since we were studying about bugs in school, we collected a whole bunch of "cabbage worms" (i.e. little green caterpillars) that were devouring our broccoli plants.  They were fun to watch inside the bug catcher (instead of on the plants!).

Eventually, they made what we thought were cocoons, but they have yet to break out of them, so we're not sure if they're still alive.

Adoniah has turned into an eating machine...and a messy one at that!

Isaac built a "scuba sub" all by himself out of scrap materials lying around after watching me begin the process of building one for our VBS drama.  (Turns out I never had to finish the project as another church gave us theirs, which was much bigger and better.)

I was so proud of his creativity and imagination as he described all the parts to me!

Painting outside like they saw a character in one of their books do.

Despite how serene and peaceful this looks, it only lasted for a short while before the attention span had come to an end and a melt down ensued over some minor frustration.  (Just keeping it real here, folks.  Actually, it was me who had the melt down.)

Oh well.  It was fun while it lasted!
(All of 5 minutes...)

Baby brother looks on with happy smiles.

Isaac's masterpiece.

More creativity at work!  Here, Isaac used two kitchen chairs to build a car like the characters in his Dick and Jane book did.

Of course, Josiah is always the tag-along who wants to be a part of everything Isaac is doing.

They had a blast in their makeshift "car"!

Doesn't everybody empty the dishwasher in their goggles?

I'm pretty sure Josiah is thinking here, "Uh...Mom, you totally put Adoniah's pajamas on me last night and they're just a little small...can we please fix this?" :)

Adoniah's delightful experience with...spaghetti? tacos? I don't remember, but he sure liked it, whatever it was!

This, my friends, is what the real Scuba Sub ended up looking like!
(photo credit: the Jarvis Family)

And this is what so much of my time was dedicated to (along with this fabulous cast of characters - and a few not pictured), from April until July as we rehearsed our church's VBS drama.
(photo credit: the Jarvis Family)

They did a great job, and I am so proud of all their hard work!  The story was a hit each day of the Ocean Commotion VBS program!
(photo credit: the Jarvis Family)

Once again, Isaac found a way to make his own Scuba Sub that he and his brother maneuvered just like they saw the superheroes in the drama do.

It was so cute!

And just in case you're wondering about the toga look Josiah is sporting, it's called learning to dress yourself and insisting on doing it without help. :)

And that's a wrap!  
To a very full blog post, that is, and a summer calendar that's been busting at the seams, leaving everyone exhausted in its wake.
We are looking forward to August.  A visit from my mother.  The county fair. Adoniah's first birthday (be watching for his birth story!). A much needed vacation to the beach.  
I think it will be more relaxed than May, June, and July.  
Maybe. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In Which We Celebrate Josiah's Birthday

This is what our dining room looked like the night before Josiah's birthday.  He picked out all the decorations and paper goods for his special day.  I thought he did an impressive job color coordinating for a two-year-old!  I guess it helps that he likes blue. :)

Keeping with the Rebsch family tradition of decorating the birthday person's door while they sleep.

Birthday breakfast ~ yogurt and fruit! 
(Don't you just love his little ear sticking out?)

And a few presents to start the day out! JoJo ripped off the paper one small piece at a time...

The tell-tale grin. :)

A favorite book of nursery rhymes from Grandma and Grandpa!

Next, a handmade card from Isaac.

Big brother looks on.

And new cooking utensils for the pretend kitchen!

Little chefs busy at work.

Later, we went swimming for Josiah's birthday at the home of a sweet church friend.

Everyone had a blast!

Josiah especially enjoyed himself! :)

Forgive the off-key notes at the beginning of the song. :)  Nathan and I started out in different places. JoJo was so excited with the baby farm animals on his cake!  And just in case you are wondering, that frosting is supposed to be blue from the blueberries in it, but instead it looks kinda purple...

Digging in to his cake (a Trim Healthy Mama winner!).


Time for more presents!  I love his expression in this picture. :)

A new shirt from Grandmommy and Granddaddy in addition to the Toob animals on the cake!

Thomas the Train is a hit in this household. :)

A happy birthday boy!

Playing with kinetic sand from Aunt Katelin and the family across the ocean.

So much sensory fun!

Nathan built this water/sand sensory table out of PVC pipes for Josiah (at my request), which several dear people contributed birthday money toward, and it has been a hit!

The boys have played with it constantly on these hot summer days!

Right down to the littlest member of the family!