Trenda's Blog

Random thoughts from a Jesus loving wife, mom, scrapbooker, photographer, flybaby, etc. . .


December 2014 Highlights

Grandma & Grandpa came to visit before their migration (thats what Mari calls it) to Arizona 141202_GrandmaGrandpaVisit_028141202_GrandmaGrandpaVisit_019141202_GrandmaGrandpaVisit_011

We headed to Camp for Sleigh Bell Weekend and had another great year starting the Christmas season out right


Grandma & Grandpa (the other set) came for the first time, we were excited to have them join our special weekend!141205_SleighbellWeekend_021141205_SleighbellWeekend_008

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And, Pam & Rob & family came too!

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We even stayed for the fireworks after the parade this year141206_SleighbellWeekend_299

Back at home, I used a little child labor to get our Christmas cards assembled141215_ChristmasCards_004

And, our church did a gingerbread factory



The Little People Nativity set gets pulled out every Christmas141209_SleighbellWeekend_370

And, every Christmas Mari plays with it!


The kids decided to do a neighborhood Secret Santa and made cupcakes141222_SecretSantas_001 141222_SecretSantas_022141222_SecretSantas_007


Dressing up for a church program


Some Christmas cookie making


Christmas Eve


Christmas morning

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I set up the interval timer on our camera again so we all got to be in the pictures141225_ChristmasMorning_040 141225_ChristmasMorning_046 141225_ChristmasMorning_077 141225_ChristmasMorning_100 141225_ChristmasMorning_109

And, Kelly’s family came over to celebrate


We had a 2500 piece puzzle about 1/3 done and they became obsessed with it!141225_Christmas_009

I guess Bernie would be our nephew;) He is such an awesome dog!141225_Christmas_012 141225_Christmas_045 141225_Christmas_057141225_Christmas_013

Building with nano blocks, the smallest legos you’ve ever seen!

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New bean bags for Christmas


A new super fun game called Ticket to Ride that we can all play141231_ChristmasGifts_001

Mari got more books


Ezra got a rubik’s cube and him & Kelly spent a long time with computer printouts figuring out how to solve it141231_ChristmasGifts_036

And, during the break we headed to Aunt Trisha’s for some fun141230_CousinVisit_060 141230_CousinVisit_062 141230_CousinVisit_068 141230_CousinVisit_073

Happy New Year (at about 9:30 at night)


And, Kelly beat me yet again in our annual game of Trivial Pursuit:(



November 2014 Highlights

Woo hoo, another month!

We visited my parents farm and brought friends for some combine rides

My mom doing her magical baby thing, this one was a little too small to be excited about a combine ride;)

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And, since I did 17 shoots this month, it seemed like I wasn’t taking any pix of our family so got some “every day” stuff141126_EverydayStuff_019 141126_EverydayStuff_009

We got Clue out, I’ve had it in the basement for years waiting for them to get old enough141127_EverydayStuff_104

When Mari gets bored, she plays solitaire, with actual cards!


Music break . . .

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Thanksgiving at Aunt Faye & Uncle Al’s, and there is always picture worthy food!

This super cool veggie tray was put together by Pam & Rob141127_Thanksgiving_006

Aunt Faye and her beautiful table



The whole gang


And, we decorated for Christmas, I hardly need to do an ornament anymore, they do need some motivation to finish, but I let them do it however they want.



October 2014 highlights

Not even going to explain or make excuses . . .

We had field day at Ez & Tobin’s school, I got to take “official” pictures for the yearbook:)

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Our awesome pumpkins!

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The kids made a zip line

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There was lots of soccer



I love the fact that they will still play kid things together (and had to document it for future proof)141014_SophiaSenior_002

Kelly lost his job of 20+ years, and we trusted in God’s provision, Kelly is blessed with very marketable skills so it didn’t take long to find a new job, so very thankful. Here’s his headshot for Linked In.


I did 21 photo shoots in October so brought the kids with me on one of them and got some shots of them (I made the boys wear nice things on top but they have sweatpants on;)

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Multiple times a day I get to see this tree in our neighborhood, it reminds me of God’s creativity and His deep, deep love for us (He could have just made everything grey you know!)


We take a road trip to watch Grif play football


And, hit a state park on the way

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Mari used a lawn mover for the first time!


And, there was leaf pile fun


Our new basketball hoop finally got set up:)

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And, we had our sometimes annual pumpkin party

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Meet Dorothy, Luigi & a dolpin


Who knows, maybe I’ll even do November, 2014 soon;)


September 2o14 Highlights

Not sure what I was thinking about being able to do 12 months in 12 days but I’m not giving up yet.  Here is what was happening in September:)

Mmmm, we had beautiful roma tomatoes this year!


First day of school, and yes, Ezra is wearing glasses, but only at school

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Tobin making his Lego “8” at Ezra’s soccer game140906_EzraSoccer_018 140906_EzraSoccer_044

Mari tried out for a production of The Sound of Music, and needed a headshot – she got a part in the ensemble and LOVED it


There was a lot of soccer, Ezra was blessed to land on a rec team that is fantastic and we just love the coach, he’s serious about soccer but even more concerned about developing character & good sportsmanship in these boys. This shot is Ezra in net making a stop140906_EzraSoccer_022

Ez is in black/red and about to score



Their team won a tournament at the end of September.


Grandma & Grandpa got to see some of the tournament too140927_EzraSoccer_018140927_EzraSoccer_142

Took this pic with my phone of Tobin “shooting” Ezra


Tobin played also


#7 about to score


That’s him with his hands in the air after;)


Mari on a shoot with me — love the young lady she is, such an amazing 12 year old, beautiful inside & out!


At a park

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Tobin had a Lego birthday party

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We had a team Lego building contest, each team had a stack of Legos and had 3 minutes to create — pretty fun, of course, my team won, only because my BIL (an architect & all around creative guy) was on my team!

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Our giant melons turned out to be 3 beautiful pumpkins!  It’s still a mystery — either, the plants were labeled incorrectly or squirrels planted seeds in our sandbox??



A fun & full month!


August 2o14 Highlights

Welcome to another month of highlights!

We had a family reunion, I have a big family.  This is my Dad’s side of the family, really maybe not quite half of them:).  And, only my Dad & his sibs and their kids & grandkids — no great aunts & uncles and extended stuff, they are all direct descendants of my Grandpa (or married into).  My Mom’s side of the family is even bigger;)



My lovely niece Ashley was there — and she sometimes reads my blog:)


My cousin Karen gave up her fight with cancer last spring (today is actually her birthday). We did a balloon launch as a remembrance for her.140802_FamilyReunion_061 140802_FamilyReunion_015

The “after party” back at the family farm


We then had 6 days without kids!  WHAT!  Marian was at Camp and the boys were with my sister. Kelly still had to work, so I had some alone time.  I spent some time with God and His amazingly beautiful creation.



Do you ever realize His love for us in the way He gave us such beauty!

I played a round of golf with Debbie:)


Kelly took a day off and we went kayaking and exploring140807_WeekNoKidsAC_035

We happened upon a park with a butterfly garden and this is why I HATE not having my real camera with me, blurry, grainy pictures!


Then we headed towards the kids and did a little golfing on the way there


And . . . came back with 5 kids! Alyssa & Kashton got to hang out with us for the week.  We had VBS, we had a Bible marketplace – it was so much fun!



We went to our favorite village, and because I thought 5 wasn’t enough, we invited Emma & JC to come too.  My MIL Sandy was kind enough to come too

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We spent some time at the pool


A rare capturing of Kashton on camera!


And, the zoo

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Of course, I put them to work harvesting some green beans (oh, there were sooo many!)140812_KashAlyssaVisit_011

We bought an in-ground basketball backboard/hoop, the boys helped to dig the hole140816_BlakeDaniFamily_385

It was really hot!  They decided to set up some shade and then Tobin said they needed cold water and I came out to this;)


Tobin did take his turn.  And, yes, they are digging with plastic cups — they couldn’t find anything else to get into the narrow post hole 140816_HoleDigging_001

Trying to use the post hole digger didn’t work for them


Brady gave a concert, he was great!

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We watched American Ninja Warrior, and they all had daily ninja training (Mari took these pics)140819_untitled_067 140819_untitled_071

Mari had junior high orientation!  Mary, if you are reading this — still didn’t cry. She is so excited to go!


We spent more time at the pool

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And, the boys played Gaelic football every Sunday afternoon140824_GaelicFootball_079 140824_GaelicFootball_045 140824_GaelicFootball_031

And, we headed to America’s Roller Coast for the day


Ez & Mari are up there


Mari & I finally worked up the courage to do Top Thrill Dragster – it was AWESOME!140828_CedarPoint_003140828_CedarPoint_012

In order to combat the wretched headache I got last year, I prepped by over hydrating the day before, getting a drink band so I could rehydrate all day long (mostly water but some lemonade & gatorade too).  And, took 2 rounds of preventive ibuprofen.  I know, a normal person just might give it up, but this girl loves her roller coasters!.  The day was fab, Tobin & Kelly both actually rode roller coasters, the Gatekeeper was Tobin’s favorite and really no lines.  Apparently, I’m now too old to go as hard as I used to, but that’s probably better for my family anyway.  They were laughing at me all day when I shared one of my old rules of Cedar Point with them (#1 Must get there before park opens and stay until they kick you out, #2 No kiddie rides, they take time away from coaster riding).

It was a great way to wrap up summer!