Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sister visit number two

Last week, my sister Teresa arrived with her two boys, Jeffrey and Noah. We are pretty lucky to get visits from two of my siblings in one month! I will see my third sister, my brother, my mom and my in-laws this weekend when we drive to Indiana for a reunion. It's great to be able to visit and get up to date on everything that has been going on in each others' families. In addition to the usual lake fun we provide to visitors, the outrageous heat drove us indoors to the Strategic Air and Space Museum, which is right here in Ashland. Omaha was the home of the Strategic Air Command of the USAF for many years, and there is a very impressive array of aircraft and other interesting exhibits.

Here are some photos of their visit, in no particular order since I was having trouble with the new Blogger interface.  

 My sister Teresa attempting to beat the 100+ heat.

 Thomas playing a game at the SAC Museum.

 Teresa helping Jeffrey with a game.

 Sisterly love.

 Teresa on the jet ski.

 Noah, Sarah, Thomas, Candace, Jeffrey and Emily

 Astro Jeff

Jet skier Noah

 Sarah and Candace piloting some type of lunar vehicle.

 Three boys taking a break.

 Jeffrey and the littles.

 Jeffrey loved the lake!

  Noah and Teresa

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pictures I love

This is a picture of Anna competing at the Cornhusker State Games last summer, 2011. I just think it's a cool shot. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ethio-adoptive families at the beach!

 This Saturday, we hosted a get together at our house for local area families with children adopted from Ethiopia. We have met some of these families before, at a previous gathering, and some are new friends. The weather was hot and sunny, but the water was refreshing, the food was tasty and the fellowship was outstanding. Thomas was thrilled beyond words to have so many little boys to frolic around with! Candace and Sarah enjoyed playing "big girl" to some of the littles, and making friends with some of the older siblings. A great day was had by all... hope to make it an annual event!

Ethio kids!
Sarah and a new friend.

 The twins help out a new buddy on the boogie board.

Thomas loved sampling the flotation devices
 brought by others.  :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sister visit number one

We are having a lot of visitors this summer. Last weekend, my older sister Johanna and her family came to visit us. Her daughter Meredith is very popular at our house... the littles could barely contain their excitement that she was coming. Meredith is at that convenient age where she is still fun for the littles to play with, and also fun for Emily and Anna to take shopping at the mall. We really enjoyed having them visit and are thankful that Colin and Johanna decided to visit us at the end of their vacation tour of the upper midwest and great plains.

Our sweet and sassy Meredith!

Colin and Johanna

My cousin Crystal, husband Don and their kids joined us for some lake fun. Here the grown-ups are relaxing while the kids swim.

Boatload of kids!

Sarah working her charm on Uncle Colin.

Johanna takes the jet ski for a spin.

Colin's turn

Johanna and me

Johanna playing Sorry with little cousin Caden.
He won, using his creative rules for the game.

As a final disclaimer, I want it to be publicly known that Meredith did indeed drive the jet ski on her own... for some reason I can't find a picture. She did an excellent job, and the absence of photographic evidence should in no way indicate otherwise.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

This year was blazing hot for our July 4th festivities... not unusual for Nebraska in July, but stifling nonetheless. The kids managed to get in some swimming and lemonade sales early in the day, and after dinner, they got to try their hands at home fireworks. Littles only, as no big kids were home with us for the day.

First up, a safety talk by Daddy.

Candace has her punk ready to light her parachute.

And it's off!

Thomas retrieves the parachute.

Sarah and Thomas comparing parachutes.

Later in the day, we were joined by our family friends the Loughmans for some water fun and to watch the fireworks. The littles were very happy to see Evan... he's always willing to play with the kids and they love him.

Evan getting Thomas ready to go for a ride with him on the jet ski.

Evan and Candace

Evan and Sarah bringing the jet ski in.

Heather and Bill getting some pointers from Evan.

Bill and Heather

Heather swimming with the littles.

Sarah and her sparkler.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thomas' first year home!

One year ago today, Thomas passed through immigration in Washington, D.C., becoming a brand new citizen of the United States of America... ready to join the Spears family as the new little brother. It's been a year of many firsts, and sweet Thomas has been embracing all that life has to offer.

We love you, Feyissa Thomas Spears!