We Escaped and Went to Jamaica!

Back in January we escaped A Cold and Snowy Indiana Winter and had a four day get-away in Jamaica, with NO KIDS!!! :) It was heavenly! We were incredibly blessed with this trip away together to celebrate all that God has done in our lives over the last two years, and for all that He continues to do. God's faithfulness, mercy, and grace to us has been incredible. We have much to be thankful for as we continue forging ahead in this life together. We were also so excited for a mini babymoon before we add Oren #3 to the gang this spring.

The kids stayed with our very amazing friends Joe and Julie. They're the kind of people you can leave your kids with without feeling a great stress over how well they will behave, etc. So great to have people in our lives who love our kids where they are, how they are, and who they are, instead of viewing those early childhood days with rose colored glasses of perfection. So, the kids had just a great a time as we did and were incredibly spoiled while we were away. Thanks to Julie for putting up with some broken sleep nights and meltdowns, all the while coming out still loving our kids and not thinking we are the world's worst parents. You're the best!

Leaving on a jet plane....7 months pregnant. Hilarious. 
We were a little bit delayed on our arrival but made it just in time to get cleaned up and out to dinner. So nice. 
 Spent lots of time sitting by the water doing nothing but drinking delicious drinks, talking and reading. It was glorious. Although I woke up with some mild case of the flu or something and spent most of the first part of our first day, throwing up. Thankfully, it passed quickly and I was mostly better the next morning. 
 Haha. Jon in all his whiteness. 
 The view from our room! Good morning Jamaica!
 Apparently, being in Jamaica pregnant means you have a deadly disease as they pretty much wouldn't let me do any activities "for my safety." Almost every excursion we might've gone on the lady said they would not let me participate because I was pregnant. Come on people! They wouldn't even let me get any spa services accept a pedicure, which they were at first hesitant about! Haha. So, while Jon kayaked I went and got a pedicure, which was awesome. 
 Another thing to note if it comes true- every Jamaican who commented was convinced I was having a girl, and most people about fell over when they realized this was our 3rd baby, not first. Apparently, we look too young to even be on a honeymoon according to one couple. 

 Don't worry, all my drinks were baby Oren approved as you can tell by the color. Haha. 

So it was a great trip with good conversation and much needed rest for both of us. And apparently, we are easily replaced as Evie walked into her Sunday school class that Sunday and announced that Mrs. Wendel is now her Mom. Ha! 


Happy Valentines Day

Having small kids makes for a lot of fun on little holidays, such as Valentines Day. Add to that, the fact that we have a VERY, VERY life-loving, memory-making child, who notices everything and loves celebrating anything and everything!!! Yep, that's our Mekonen. He's the kid who loves holiday and seasonal decorations, who loves "special things" and special days, as does this Mama! I love nothing more than planning and doing little personalized things throughout their childhood. It does something great to my soul! haha. So for Mekonen, as soon as a holiday ends, he wants to know which one is coming up next. He's the kid who notices the small things and they excite him, such as when Grandma Magz changes her seasonal decorations in the downstairs bathroom. So naturally, Mekonen was very excited about Valentines Day. Here's a glimpse at how we celebrated LOVE. :)

The day before Valentines Day we got together with some friends and did Valentines Day activities. The kids had a blast. Here they are painting watercolor hearts with crosses in the middle. Not only do we talk about love for each other and family on Valentines Day, but also Jesus' love for us! :) 
 Baking soda hearts with red vinegar made for a great little Valentines Day science experiment. 

 Several games of Valentines bingo with red, white, and pink M&M's. I'm pretty sure they spent most of their time eating the M&M's. We started off with a color bingo for the smalls.....
 and ended with a number recognition bingo for the bigs. 
The kids exchanged Valentines too. So cute. 
Two of the cutest Valentines on Valentines Day morning. 
Special place settings for the day. They loved it. 

 Checking out the candy loot in their Valentines buckets. 

Their absolute favorite was reading their cards and love notes from Mommy and Daddy in their mini mailboxes. They were even more excited about this than the candy! 
Mekonen LOVES words. It's one of his top love languages. This was his face every time I read one of his love notes from us. He was giggling the entire time and saying, "Awwww, thanks Mom!" Haha. 
We had fun making a kitty and a frog Valentines day puppet. 

The kids enjoyed lots of Valentines theme food and were on quite the sugar high. 
For brekfast- Red velvet pancakes. Hard to tell the top one is shaped like a heart. 
For lunch- heart shaped PB&J. 
 For snack- pink tutti fruity popcorn and strawberry soda floats with their heart shaped straws. 
And for dinner they went with Grandma Magz and Boppy to Chick-Fil-A. Sorry for handing them off such a sugared mess!!!! 

The kids were pretty excited to make Valentines for Daddy. Here they are. (LOVE him writing his name. So sweet). 
Mekonen's Valentines for Daddy.

Evie's Valentines for Daddy. 


A Cold & Snowy Indiana Winter

We have had an epic winter here in the Indy area, with two major snowstorms! The first being about 12 inches of snow with freezing temps...like, -40 degree wind chill for almost a week. It was insane. And cold. And really, really cold. It was so snowy and cold, most everything was closed not just schools, and two days where it was emergency travel only. Whoa.

Best part? Being snuggly warm in our house (although praying every second our pipes don't burst or our heater goes out). And Jon not being able to go into work and got an actual snow day! That was fun.

Worst part? Having a 2 and 5 year old who see mounds and mounds of snow, and LOVE being outside, and trying to explain to them that -40 degree wind chill is just a wee bit too cold to go play outside. I had to keep telling them, "The news told us we cannot go outside to play." They said you would get frostbite in under 10 minutes. Yikes.

Poor Jon was such a trooper...shoveling, and keeping things checked, warmed, and working, as well as checking the chickens every day in the freeeeeeeezing cold, and even dealing with their 15 gallon automatic watering system that exploded from the cold, leaving 15 gallons of water all over their lush chicken coop. Ugh. Dad's get the worst jobs ever.

Here's a peak at our world for almost two weeks.

I guess when you live in an old schoolhouse you get ice and frost on the INSIDE of the windows. 
 I was amazed at the ice crystal details on our dining room windows. Very cool. 
view of our backyard
 That's the mailbox way out there on the right, across the street from the road. Can't see any distinction whatsoever between yard and road. 12 inches of snow. Crazy. 
 I thought it was only fitting to make a new winter fireplace while stuck inside from the -40 degree wind child weather. 
Trying to keep our stir crazy kids busy for almost two weeks straight inside. Daddy and Mekonen working on his Lego sets. Meko was in heaven!
 We spent most days in our pj's and this one continued her love of scribbling and coloring. 

Busted out a lot of our board games these weeks. Mekonen LOVES getting the character cards in Candyland, even if it means he goes all the way back to the beginning. haha. We also found out he is quite skilled at the kids version of Rummikub. 
 And of course, flashlight tag in the dark. 
 And "tape" roads for matchbox cars
And lots of time working on writing letters and his name for school. 
Love, love his sweet handwritten name. Writing has been difficult for him and he's just recently been motivated to write and practice on his own. Love this curly-q letters. They make me smile.