Monday, April 20, 2009

Lainah's Blessing Day

On Easter Sunday, we blessed our little baby girl. It was the perfect day for a baby blessing. It just seemed fitting that on the day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which means everlasting life for all of us...that we also celebrated the new life in our little family. Lainah is now a little over two months old, and she has been such a blessing in our home. We all just can't get enough of her sweet little spirit. Sunday morning as I was getting her dressed in her white dress, I was telling her how beautiful she was...and then became overwhelmed with how much I loved her. More than that, Andy and I both felt completely surrounded that day by loved ones from up above. We felt so strongly that our little Lainah was being surrounded on her blessing day by people who loved her. I worked on her little dress for a few weeks prior to her big day. I usually had to wait until late at night to work on it...but I enjoyed every second of it. I've made each of my girls' blessing dresses, and they are each unique in their design...just like each of my daughters are special and unique.
Sunday morning, I pulled out all of our family's blessing outfits and put them on my bed. I didn't get a picture of them all, but it was quite the sight...Andy's, mine, Taylor's, Rachel's, Brooklynn's, Matthew's, and little baby Lainah's blessing outfits. Rachel especially loved looking at her little blessing dress, and couldn't believe how small she used to be.

Easter was a beautiful sunny day...but not very warm, so we only took a couple of outside pictures. We just wanted one picture with the sun on Lainah's face.

She was much more comfortable inside. She has kept her dark hair so far, and has the most beautiful blue eyes to go with it. And her little dimples are so precious!

In this picture, I was talking to her, and she was cooing back at me and smiling. She is such a happy, sweet baby!
So right here, I don't know if we really want to know what Taylor might have done to produce that reaction from the girls. :) I also love how Matthew is just completely out of it in these pictures. Nursery wears him out, and by the time we get home (it's a 30 minute drive), he is usually zonked out and ready for a nap. So for these pictures, we just propped him up on the couch, it was pretty funny.
Andy gave Lainah the most beautiful blessing. I love how each of the kids have had very unique blessings. Many of the things are the same in each one, but yet each child has also been blessed with things that are completely unique to them and their personalities and missions in this life.
I'm so thankful that Andy is the type of father he is. He is strong, he is caring, he's a good teacher, he gets down and wrestles with his children...and yet he can also be so serious, and bears the responsibility of fatherhood well.
Here is little daddy's arms, and holding hands with her Daddy.

The easter bunny also visited our house...and although she can't eat chocolate yet...we're getting her all prepared for when she can. :)

Taylor was our little photographer. This picture he took and then said, "oops...I cut off your heads", but it's actually one of my favorites. I think he might have some talent at photography!
Lainah Lorraine Thuernagle
Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2009
Mayfield Ward, Kirtland Ohio Stake

Pysanky Eggs

I mentioned these Pysanky eggs in my previous post, and thought I'd put some pictures up on here.

When Andy and I were engaged, he introduced me to a fun tradition of his family's. Pysanky Eggs. I remember when he asked me if I had ever done one before and I just looked at him and said something like, "Pysanky what?? What is that?" I had never heard of them before. So he brought me to his house, and he and his dad taught me how to do it.

First, we took an uncooked, raw egg. I seem to remember shaking it a bunch to try and break the yoke inside...but it's been a while, so maybe we didn't. Anyway, we poked a hole on the top of the egg, and the bottom, and then blew out the insides of it. It was a slow process. After the egg was emptied out, we let them dry and then we started designing.

Andy's family had a book that had different designs and instructions on how to make them, and it also explained the meanings behind the different symbols used on the eggs. So it was pretty neat to read through the book and decide which design you wanted to try.

We used melted bees wax, and a small pointy, needle-like tool to draw on the eggs. You would dip the pointy tool into the wax, and then draw on the egg. The trick was, to think ahead. You had to decide what part of your design you wanted white, and then what color you wanted next, and so on. You also had to remember to go from light dyes to dark. It's hard to explain, but it is pretty complicated and pretty much an all day process.

Here is Andy's egg from Easter 1998...we were engaged and would be married in a couple of months!

And here is my very first Pysanky egg. That was a fun day. Andy was on one side of me, and his dad on the other and the three of us spent forever on our eggs. It is a great memory.

After we did our "real" designs, we had fun just going through the book and looking up random symbols and making some more quicky designs. Here's Andy's. I can't remember what the symbols mean!!! Does anyone in the Thuernagle family know where that book went??Here is a fun egg that I did the next easter. Easter 1999...ten years ago! Time flies! Anyway, on this one, I did the triangle symbol with our names on the outside, coming together...which if I remember right had something to do with unity. The eye in the middle of the triangle was something to do with wealth...I remember us both laughing over that one as poor undergrads in a one bedroom cinderblock-walled apartment.
And this little stag symbolizes posterity and fertility. No wonder we have 5 children!!! It's that silly stag's fault!

Here is Andy's masterpiece from that year.

And my masterpiece made it until little baby Taylor started walking...and was accidently knocked off of a display. I saved most of the pieces, and after all these years Andy put it back together for me last night. He is pretty amazing! We're missing a lot of the shell...but at least we have the general idea of how the egg once looked!

So each different color is a different phase of waxing and dying. When you are all done with your design, the egg is nearly completely covered in wax, and then you have to slowly and carefully melt the wax off with a candle. I got one side of my egg a little too close to the flame, and it darkened the colors. Once you have all the wax melted off, it's best to spray them with a laquer for strength and also to make them nice and shiny.
This is one of the traditions that Andy and I want to carry on with our own children. We haven't bought the tools yet, but it's something we're going to do!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter Egg Fun

This year I didn't get very many pictures of the kids doing their Easter activities. But I did get a few of them coloring their eggs. I remember when Taylor was little, and just buying one dozen eggs seemed like plenty...too many in fact for one little guy to color on his own. Now, with 4 of them...we have to buy a couple of 18 count egg cartons. It's a good thing that we really enjoy foods such as deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, and egg gravy over toast! Because the week after easter...we eat a lot of eggs.

In his 3rd grade class this year, Taylor's teacher taught them a little bit about the Pysanky egg tradition from the Ukraine. He was pretty excited about that, and so he tried to do a little bit of the Pysanky technique on his eggs this year. He used a crayon to color designs, and then dipped it into different succeeding colors. It was fun to watch him try to figure out the whole process.

Andy and I actually have made a few Pysanky eggs when we were first married. It was a tradition of his family's to do them around Easter time. I'll have to post pictures of our first two years worth of eggs.

Rachey is all girl, and made her eggs cute and PINK or PURPLE. She also glued these little flowers to her eggs. They were almost too beautiful to eat...almost.

And Brooklynn really had fun drawing on her eggs with crayon too. She wanted to do hers like Tays. She went to a little princess birthday party earlier that day and so she was still wearing her princess crown that she had made.

Matthew was (as always) hilarious. Okay, well, truth be told I actually had to leave for a few minutes or I was going to have a breakdown. :) Brooklynn about two minutes into the egg dying, spilled a cup of the egg dye. I had just barely told her not to reach over the egg cups. She reached, she spilled. Mom left. Whew!!! It's amazing how just sitting in the minivan for a few minutes listening to music and no kids will do wonders for the nervous system.
Okay, so after mom settled her nerves, she came back in to face the troops. Matthew (as I was saying) was hilarious. He thought that the egg dye was KOOL AID. He wouldn't believe us when we kept trying to tell him that it was icky. Well...I turned my back for a few seconds and...gulp, gulp, SPIT!!!!!!
He now knows that easter egg dye is NOT kool aid. It is "gross, so gross". (My girls taught him that wonderful word.) After his learning experience with egg dye, he was perfectly happy to just color on his eggs with crayons, and let us help him dip them in the cups. He had a blue-stained nose that was just too funny.

This picture really isn't to show off their beautiful's to show that we actually survived easter egg dying for one more year. :) Next year I hope that it's a nice day outside so we can do this out on the grass in swimsuits or something!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Little Explanation

Some of you may have noticed that my blog suddenly became a private one for a few days, and you may have been wondering what in the world was going on! First of all, I wanted to make my blog a private one from the start, but kept it open so that it was easier for a few of our friends and a few family members to get onto it.

But, last week I closed it down completely. Quite to our surprise, Andy and I found ourselves under verbal attack from some people we thought to be very close to us...they criticized our decision to leave a career and come back to dental school, moving away from family in the process, they laughed at the huge sacrifice coming back to school has been for our entire family, especially our children, they criticized our decision to come and visit family last summer, and accused us of many, many things that were very hurtful and were grossly untrue. They also were extremely disrespectful and critical in their comments about our children, whom we love so much. It was the way in which they belittled our children, and the toll these four years has taken on our little family that really was the last straw and so in order to protect my family from their critical and hardened eyes, I closed the blog.

I just couldn't bear the thought of them even occasionally reading about the wonderful things that my children are doing, and looking at their beautiful pictures. My children are as jewels to me, and I just couldn't bear for them to treat my treasure in such a way.

So, dear friends who have supported us and stayed close to us throughout the years...this is why when you came to visit our blog you suddenly found it closed.

Over the weekend, I had a change of thought. I remembered that I've always despised exclusiveness in all of it's forms. It completely goes against my nature to exclude someone from an activity that I'm involved in. So I am reopening the blog.

Now, just for the record...I'm sure all of our amazing friends and family already know this...but just so that you know that WE know this. Andy and I are far from perfect. I know this may come as a shock to some of you (sarcastic laugh inserted here) but we miss birthdays of dear friends and family members, we forget names, we frown, occasionally we yell, we both weigh more than we should and are doing absolutely nothing about it right now, sometimes we have nervous break downs so watch out for a blue Honda Odyssey that is driving out of control, we stay up way too late drinking hot cocoa or postum and then don't want to get out of bed in the morning, sometimes Sherrie doesn't make the bed, and most of the time Andy leaves his dirty socks on the floor.

Our five children are also far from perfect. We fully admit that they fight, they argue, they have messy rooms, they spill food, they occasionally break dishes, they color on the walls (they are well-acquainted with magic erasers), they have occasional bedtime accidents, they get filthy with mud and grass stains, they intentionally throw their balls into the neighbors yard so that they can go get them, they occasionally pull the cat's tail and eat his food, and they even eat with their mouths open and even worse talk with mouths full of food. I know, it's terrible.

We also admit that our lives are not a fairy tale. Nope, we're not looking for sympathy here's just the facts. We actually get sick, we have to take our children to the hospital far more than we would like for things like bleeding heads, broken hands, kidney infections, etc. With five children, there are bound to be injuries and sickness much of the time. When our house gets the flu's not just the "24 hour bug" it's the 24 hour bug multiplied by 7 people, which comes out to be at least the 168 hour bug. When the doctor says to "give it 14 days", then we multiply that by 7 and we get the idea.

BUT...we don't blog about that stuff! Honestly, I don't even journal about most of that kind of thing. What's the point in accentuating the negative in a person or people? No, the sort of things I choose to blog about are all of the positive things and wonderful accomplishments that involve Andy, myself, and our children. So, we are fully aware that we are not perfect and that we have our problems...but you most likely will not be reading about our imperfections or our problems here on this blog. Sorry! Just watch the nightly news for that sort of thing!

So my friends, please forgive me for the glitch in the open blog, but we're up and running again. We love you all, and love reading your blogs and keeping up with your families...sometimes we don't comment on every post...but we still love you nonetheless!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pinewood Derby 2009

Our stake's pinewood derby was two weeks ago. It was a fun day for us all. Taylor worked so hard on his car so it was fun to finally see it race down the track. The boys also received awards at the derby, so Taylor got the badges he has earned over the past couple of months. He earned his Wolf badge, a gold arrowpoint, and a silver arrowpoint, as well as the bowling belt loop. He has been one busy little boy!

Here he is with his awards!

This is Taylor and one of his friends Caleb.

The boys are busy at the "pit". Every time they would race, they'd grab their cars and go running back over to the pit for more graphite.
Here's Tay getting set for his first race of the morning. The stake recently bought this new metal track, and it is so fast compared to the old wooden ones!
Okay, Matthew was in little boy heaven. He got front row seating at a car race! He just kept saying "fas car! Fas car, Tay!" He was so cute.
Here are a few of the boys' cars. Taylor's is the one with the tool on it. I don't remember what that tool is called. Anyway, Tay's design was way too light, so they had to make some last minute alterations...which consisted of Andy finding the right sized tool from his toolbox and taping it to the top of Tay's car. Amazingly, it was still fast...thanks to Andy finding a streamlined tool. Here's the lineup. One of the boys put a skateboarder made from wire on top of his skateboard-designed car. It was funny to watch come down the track.
After all the races, they were giving out a certificate to each boy. Taylor waited and waited, and as each boys' name and car were called, he looked more and more worried. He thought that he didn't win anything, but he was being such a good sport and cheering for everyone else. Finally, his name was called dead last, and he and his car were awarded "The Judge's Favorite" award. He was so excited!
Andy had to leave early to go take a computerized section of the boards, so I stayed with the kids and helped take down and put things away, and also stayed to direct where to put tables and chairs for that night's YW recognition night and general YW broadcast. The kids were good helpers, but by the time we were on our way home they were all exhausted and all zonked out...except Taylor.
He was still so excited about the day. He looks so cute in his uniform, and now has been patiently waiting for me to get time to sew on his new badges.

Way to go Taylor! We're so proud of you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Houses for Sale

We accepted an offer on our house earlier this week and are so excited! But if you know anyone moving to Cleveland, we have a few friends who are still trying to sell their homes! So if you know anyone moving out here, have them follow this link to view the homes!