Today we celebrated Victoria's 6th Birthday party. It was a lot of fun at the park on a beautiful day here in Wisconsin. Here are some videos of the party. http://www.flickr.com/photos/maentz/sets/72157620474943595/
It has been a while since the last post. Very busy getting the house ready for sale, job interviewing, and planning our move from Wisconsin to Pittsburgh, PA. We are very excited to be making this move but it sure is a lot of work. We celebrated Marion and Victoria's birthdays on Sunday, along with Father's Day. Yesterday, K-C hosted a going away picnic for Gabe and the family came for lunch. It was a great time but Victoria had a slip on one of the swings and ended up fracturing her right wrist. She has to wear a cast for 1 month. That is a bummer since that is her writing hand which makes everything more difficult. All in all she seems to be handling the whole thing pretty well today, but yesterday she was pretty aggrevated about the whole thing.
Gabe got a new mini video recorder for his birthday, so here are some videos of the kids.
It has been so long since I have been able to sit down and work on the blog. I can't wait for spring break. I am hoping to catch up on blog entries and pictures. I wanted to make sure that I got something on the site about Rhys (especially since I missed his 7 month update). Rhys is getting so big and his personality is really starting to emerge. He was 8 months last week (March 14th). Just before the big day his two bottom teeth popped out. We were quite surprised! There was no real crankiness other than one night that he woke up crying. For awhile Rhys had been trying so hard to crawl. He could get up on all fours and rock back and forth but he could not seem to make any forward motion. He frequently would go backward and get himself stuck in a corner. That made him very angry. Rhys did finally achieve forward movement sortly after he turned 8 months. Now that he has the crawling thing figured out, he is venturing all over the house. Crawling...a blessing and a curse. Obviously we are elated that he is developing as he should but having him mobile makes things a little more difficult around the house. We have to close all doors and get the baby gate back out. We also have to constantly remind Victoria and Ellie to pick up their toys. Everythin on the floor goes straight into Rhys' mouth. He is also starting to get more vocal. He will say, "mama" and "dada". His other fun trick is roaring. He sounds just like a little lion cub. We watch the animated movie, "Into the Wild" the other week and there was a little lion, Ryan, that was having trouble learning to roar. It was so cute because we all thought that Ryan, the lion, sounded a lot like Rhys, the baby. Rhys is quite a content little guy. His face lights up when Gabe, the girls or I walk into a room and say his name. He has the biggest, cutest smile! The girls still fawn over him like he is a newborn. They are awesome big sisters!!!! Rhys' food repetoire continues to increase. He is now feeding himself crackers and cheerios. He also enjoys eating most of his veggies and fruits. His favorite food is oatmeal and bananas. The other day Gabe snuck him some belgian waffle and Rhys was quite the fan. I don't blame him! Here are some pics of Rhys!
Victoria started going to gymnastics in the fall. She has loved every minute of it and tries to practice at home. We have caught her flipping over the handles on the treadmill. Even though we get to watch her every week while she is at class, the gym held a special performance. Victoria was so excited that mom, dad, ellie and rhys would all be there to watch her routine. They started out with a floor routine. Victoria did a somersault, cartwheel and a handstand that she turned into a flip. She is still working to perfect her cartwheel but she really looked great out there. They also did a uneven bar routine and a balance bar routine. I was so impressed with Victoria's bar routine. I didn't realize how good she had gotten until she did a jump and landed back on the balance beam. After all the kids were done, they each received a medal. It was so cute. Victoria was so proud of her accomplishments. We were quite proud as well. I am so happy that she is having a great time at gymnastics and has an activity that she can do outside of school. The instructors said that they are going to start working with Victoria to perfect her cartwheel and work on harder routines in the other areas. Go Victoria!!!
I am a little late writing this but I still wanted to post something about Ellie's birthday. Elizabeth turned 3 years old on January 24th. She was so excited that it was finally her birthday. Our family calendar is a picture calendar and the month of the kids birthday has just pictures of the birthday kid. So, when we turned the calendar to January, Ellie saw pictures from her birthday last year and she started singing happy birthday to herself. Needless to say when the day finally rolled around she was pretty excited. It is hard to believe that this amazing little gift came into our lives three years ago. Ellie has been a blessing since her birth. On her birthday, ellie proudly wore around her pink tutu, birthday girl sash and princess crown. Ellie will tell you that she is three years old and try to hold up three fingers but that is kind of tricky so it looks more like 5. We celebrated Ellie's birthday with her godparents and their kids....just a small party. Everything was pink as requested by Ellie. In November when i worked the bookfair at Victoria's school, ellie found a book entitled pinkalicious written by sisters named Victoria and Elizabeth. The story is about a little girl who turns pink after eating too many pink cupcakes. ellie thought this was fantastic. She decided right then that she wanted a pink birthday party with pink cupcakes. Thanks to my wonderful friend, Carrie, we made that happen. She had a pink cake with a flower drawn on it and then 10 pink cupcakes surrounding the cake. It was definitely very pinkalicious!!!! Although our family lives far away and were not able to be hear for Ellie's party, they sent gifts and called. Ellie was so excited to talk to Papa, Grandma Mary and her aunties. She knew it was her special day and I am so happy that she enjoyed it!
1. Ellie is so much fun. She sings, laughs, and dances. Her sense of rhythm is unbelievable. You put a song on and immediately she is dancing right in time to that song. She can be heard all throughout the house singing. Even though she has a tantrum here and there, she is typically a very happy little kid. She loves to laugh and make other people laugh especially her brother.
2. She is an amazing sister. She loves Rhys so much that sometimes she hugs him just a little too tight. She is always worried about Victoria and Rhys and wants to make sure we know where everyone is. Just recently she did the sweetest thing...gave money to Victoria to help pay for the dinner that Victoria had promised to pay for.
4. She is quite the little runner. Typically if Ellie wants to go somewhere she runs there. The cutest sight is sitting in choir on Wednesday nights. Ellie comes running down the church aisle to say good-bye to me. She runs so fast the choir members get nervous she is going to fall. She doesn't, though.
5. She is a very sensitive little girl. She loves to hug and cuddle especially in the morning. She loves to be right where everyone is. It is very rare for her to be off playing by herself unless of course she is getting into micheif (usually involving make-up)
Ellie is a little sweetheart. I am so truly blessed to have such a beautiful daughter!!!
This weekend Marion went with the church youth group to their annual winter retreat about 2 hours away. She took Rhys with her and I got to spend some good time with the girls. On Friday night, Victoria wanted to treat Ellie and I to dinner at a place in town called The Windy City, that specializes in Chicago cuisine - Italian Beef, Chicago Hot Dogs, etc.. This is something she has been talking about ever since she got some money for Christmas because she knows that I like that kind of food and thought it would be special to go to dinner there. Victoria is tremedously gracious, and when Marion first told me that this is what she wanted to do with part of her Christmas money, I was very touched. So the date was set. Victoria had been talking about going all day long, and now that it was dinner time and we were in route to go to the Windy City. We first ran a few errands and then quick went home to get her money out of her big bucket. You see, a few weeks ago, each of the kids got a big plastic bucket to put all of their money in. We got this idea from financial motivational speaker and counsler, Dave Ramsey, as a way to get kids excited about saving money - the clear plastic bucket helps them visualize what saving money looks like (and what spending money looks like too). Victoria got out of the car and quick ran up to her room to get the money out of her bucket. The only problem we found was that when she got there, no money was to be found. She was confused. What had happened to her money?
I finally reached the conculsion that her money must have been used for another gift that she wanted - an electric massager. You see this was another gift that Victoria really wanted, and Marion bought it on Amazon a few days ago and must have went to get the money out of Victoria's bucket to pay for it. Needless to say this put Dad into a unique situation. She had been only talking about taking us to the Windy City for dinner all day, but now there was no money in the bucket. A lot of stuff rushed through my mind at that moment, and then I finally thought this could stand to be a valuable teaching moment, although it was extremely painful. I told her that we could not go out for dinner because you need money to do that, and there was not any left in the bucket. Ouch. That is a hard message for anybody to hear, let alone a 5 year old. I thought more then once that maybe I was being a little to harsh.
The reality set it. Victoria was devestated, and let me know by showing extreme emotion. Crying, Yelling, Plassing the blame on others.."I didn't want mom to buy that massager, why did she do that and take my money?!?!" I told her that the massager was something she said she wanted and there was no reason to yell at mom about that. She was very upset, and then in the midst of her emotion, my five year old came up with a brillant idea - "Dad you can pay for the dinner with your money." All of a sudden Dad became the bailout plan. I thought to myself..."Why not, it worked for the banks?" I then delivered the hard message that I did not have the money to pay to eat out and so we would have to stay home and make dinner. More emotion. More crying. More yelling.
Not feeling so great, I went to get Ellie, who had been waiting in the car for us to come back with the money. I said that we we had a change of plans and that we would be eating dinner at the house. Ellie asked why, and I said that Victoria did not have any money in her bucket. Ellie then did one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. She said "I have money in my bucket. I will give Victoria some of my money out of my bucket." You see Ellie's bucket is looking pretty good after just celebrating a birthday. Ellie quickly jumped out of the car, ran up to her room, grabbed her bucket, took the money out and handed it to Victoria.
Victoria all of a sudden stopped crying and was very thankful to her sister giving her a big hug. I told Victoria that was a very special thing Ellie did and Ellie had a huge smile on her face - "Can we go get a hotdog?", she asked. Victoria then said she was going to work hard to fill up her bucket so that she could give some money back to Ellie. We are in the process of starting a "allowence" system with Victoria, where she gets paid for doing her chores so I am hopeful it won't take long for her to make good on her promise.
Well they are only five and three, but they both taught me a lot. I hope this small lesson about money will stay with Victoria. She now tells me - "If there is not money in the bucket, then you can't do stuff." It is not always easy being a Dad and sometimes I second guess if I am doing the right thing especially when it is not the popular thing. This time it was worth it. We had a great dinner and evening together, and this moment made my weekend so I had to share it.
Last week I started student teaching. I was so excited to finally be at this point in my schooling, however now that I am a week into this adventure, I am really questioning my decision. I am still excited about teaching and although there have been some challenging moments in the classroom, I believe that this is the right career path for me. The problem is that I have truly enjoyed staying home with the kids. I quit working at Kimberly-Clark two years ago. I can't believe that it has been that long already. The expression "time flies when you are having fun" is so true. The kids and I have had such fun at home. Of course it hasn't been all roses. There were definitely moments of sassiness that resulted in time outs but overall it has been a great time. It has been especially hard to leave Rhys. I am so thankful that I was able to stay home with hime for 6 months compared to 3 months with the girls. It was still so hard to leave him at daycare. Gabe and I love Carrol and are could not be happier with her home daycare. She loves the kids like her own. Ellie loves to go to "school" and play with her friends. Rhys on the other hand has had a more difficult time adjusting. He is not eating well at Carrol's and not sleeping well. It just breaks my heart. I know this is only the first week and with time he will adjust but it doesn't lessen the emotions. I am also finding it difficult to balance everything again. I come home and want to spend time with the kids but there is laundry, dishes, lesson plans, etc to do. Not to mention the fact that I am tired and would just like to put on my pj's and climb into bed. I also feel like I had to give up some of my extra-curriculars. I really miss those things. I have seen both worlds and I am wondering if maybe being a stay at home mom was really where my heart was. My life is so different from where I thought I would be. I was the person who didn't really want kids and I was very career oriented. All that changed when I had Victoria. I am glad that I will have my teaching credentials in my back pocket but I do wonder if I have made the right decision. I guess that is why there is a constant debate about working parents versus stay at home parents and what is best for the family. I know this. I am looking forward to June 5th when I get to be home with the kids again (plus it will be summer) :)
To all those working moms out there:
If you have any good advice or even encouragement, I am all ears!
We decided to take 2 1/2 weeks and travel to PA and then Connecticut for Christmas. It would be the first time that many of our family members saw Rhys in the flesh. We drove through the night and arrived at my grandma's house in PA just before a major ice/snow storm started. Everyone did great on the trip including Rhys which is a miracle since we realized as we were leaving that the DVD players were not working. We love driving through the night...less traffic and the kids sleep. We stayed in PA for four days visiting family. My dad drove up to spend a few days with us and so did my sister and her family. We had an early Christmas dinner and all opened presents. It was great to see Rhys playing with his little cousin, Luke. My sister's baby is just 2 weeks older than Rhys. One of the highlights of our time in PA was personal visit from Santa Claus. He showed up at Grandma's front door. The kids were so excited that Santa came to see them.
The excitement was only beginning. Jessica and her family along with Grandma Whitlow and Papa showed up shortly after that. We got to open presents with them and Luke met his cousins. The girls loved all their gifts. Ellie got a crocodile from Papa who she named Alligator. I guess we will call him Al for short. The most special part of the night was Victoria's gift to Gabe and me. She brought it home wrapped from Kindergarten and was so anxious for us to open it. It was a beautiful pillow. On the front she used her hands to make a wreath and on the back she used her foot to create an angel. It is my favorite gift. I loved seeing her excitement in having something special to give to me. It reminds you of what the season is really about.
It was time to leave PA and head to Connecticut. This trip was a lot scarier than our trip out to PA. The kids were still excellent in the car and such troopers given no dvd players and the trip lasting 9 hours instead of 6 1/2. There was a bad ice storm the night before we left so we were headed up the mountains in PA very, very slowly. Gabe was slipping all over the road and we saw semi trucks that couldn't even make it up the mountain. It rained the whole way which is better than icing but the roads were horrible the whole way. We are so thankful that we made it safely to Connecticut even if it did take longer. We had an awesome stay in Connecticut. We hadn't been out there in 2 years so it was great to see Gabe's family and for them to meet Rhys. Gabe's sister Amy lives in Connecticut and Sarah drove up from DC. Even with all the issues that develop in being with family in tight quarters, it is so worth to spend the holidays with loved ones. Victoria left cookies and milk for Santa. She worked very hard on her note. Santa even left her a note thanking her for the yummy cookies. Now we know why he is such a big, jolly guy. Santa brought Victoria a barbie with wings and ellie got the handy manny tool kit....just what they both asked for. After opening all the presents which took forever we went to church. It was a beautiful service. it is so nice to be able to go to church on Christmas and celebrate the real reason for Christmas. It is so easy to forget about Jesus' birth when you are surrounded by way too many presents. One of the best gifts we got for Christmas were tickets to ride an old train to the North Pole. We all (and I do mean all of us) dressed in our pj's and santa hats to ride the train. What a fun time. Santa and Mrs. Claus both came on the train to say hello. Victoria looked right up at Santa and said "thank you for my barbie with wings". It was the cutest. Gabe and I took the kids to Mystic, CT to meet up with my roommate from college, Mary Beth and her husband Brad. I am so glad we had the opportunity to see them even if it was only for a few hours. Gabe and I also got to take advantage of having grandma babysit. We went out with Amy and her fiancee, Shawn for New Year's Eve. It was so much fun dancing into 2009. Unfortunately, our camera battery died so we don't have many pictures from the train ride or our activities after that. That is okay since this is definitely the longest blog I have ever written. It was a long trip, though. On New Year's Day we started our journey back to WI via PA. The drive went well and we arrived home safely ready to get back to all of our many activities.
When we got home we still had the gifts from mom and dad to open. These girls are going to think that Christmas lasts 3 weeks and they just get lots of gifts. We will be changing that for next year.
Recently Gabe and I found out that someone or some persons hacked into the main computer system of our bank. They stole up to 50 customers credit card numbers and were using them in Illinois. Unfortunately, Gabe and I were one of those fifty. Thankfully, the bank's fraud department contacted us to verify the charges. I checked our voice messages the other night and heard this message to call the bank's card processing department to verify charges immediately. Gabe was already in bed so I called. The customer service rep said that the charges were linked to Gabe's card and she needed to speak to him. I asked if it could wait. She responded with the question, "has your husband been out of state today". When I told her no she told me to wake him immediately. She explained that there were charges totalling $500 (which by the next day were up to $1,000) on our account from a Wal-Mart in Addison, IL. After confirming that those were not purchases that we made, she deactivated our cards. So now we start the process of getting new cards and filling out paperwork to dispute the charges and hopefully get our money back. That night I couldn't sleep. I was so sick to my stomach over the ordeal. Obviously I am pissed about the $1,000 but what has me more upset is the fact that there are people out there with no regard for others. Gabe works so hard for our money. We budeted for Christmas and didn't even spend near this amount on gifts for our family and friends. Now someone has the audacity to take our money along with 49 other people's money and spend it. Does this person(s) have no conscience? You know that people like this are in the world but when it hits so close to home, you feel so violated. What makes me even sadder is that many of the customers of our bank have recently been laid off. Several companies in the fox valley (like the rest of the US) have had major lay offs in the past couple of months. Those could be some of the very same people that had their credit card numbers stolen. I am just sick thinking about that. It is sad.
I know that this is so cliche but it feels like just yesterday we were bringing this little baby home from the hospital and today he is 5 months old. He is such a good baby. All three of my kids have been awesome babies. I am so thankful and feel completely blessed. Of course, like every baby, he has his moments of fussiness. He does love to be held a lot. He is getting better at napping. I can put him in his crib and he will talk himself to sleep. He only naps for about an hour but that is getting better. I am sure all of that will change when we head out east for Christmas. That is what did it for Victoria. She was thrown off her schedule when she was 6 months old and we travelled. It took her another two years before she was sleeping through the night and taking decent naps. I am going to try very hard this time to keep all three kids to their normal routine when we are travelling. Anyhow, Rhys is a pretty content baby. He loves when people talk to him. He has the biggest, most adorable smile. Today he was laying on the floor singing and chatting with me. Still no rolling. He tries hard but just can't seem to manage to get his whole body over. He will sit unsupported for a few minutes now. He just loves grabbing for toys, hair, blankets and anything else that he can put in his mouth. His newest trick is sticking his tounge out. It is the funniest thing I have ever seen. That's my "Rhysie J".
I have gotten behind here, I know but I am trying to catch up. With all of the holiday things we have been doing at church and at home, i haven't found much time to sit down and write. Last weekend we decided that we would get a real tree after all. Gabe and I had been going back and forth for awhile since we aren't going to be home for Christmas. However, I was definitely missing having a tree up in the house and so was Gabe. So, Gabe took the girls to pick out a Christmas tree. When I got home from playing handbells at a local nursing home, there was the tree in front of our picture window. The smell was wonderful. Of course it irritated my allergies but I didn't care. It looked so beautiful. We ate dinner and then started decorating the tree. the girls helped Gabe wrapp around the lights and then the ribbon. Then they tried very hard to help me with the poinsettia leaves but they couldn't quite get the hang of fluffing them out. After that we moved on to ornaments. They were having so much fun putting them all over the tree. Ellie loved for Gabe to pick her up so she could put the ornaments up high. Victoria's strategy was to clump ornaments together. It was so much fun decorating. I am so glad that we decided to get the tree and decorate it. Everyone got along and had a great time. It was a fun family night and the tree looked so beautiful when we were done. We just sat staring at it.
**Warning: Long blog with no pictures. We seemed to forget our camera everywhere we went this weekend.
Thanksgiving has come and gone and I finally have a chance to sit down and do a little “turkey day” reflecting. We had a very quiet but wonderful Thanksgiving. Gabe cooked a great meal that we shared with a special friend, Yang. Yang is a junior at Lawrence University, a liberal arts college in Appleton. He is from China. Yang was matched with us as part of the Lawrence International Program. They match international students with families in Appleton so the student has an adopted family while they are so far away from home. It was so nice to share the day with him. One of the many funny comments that Victoria made during the day was “do you want sticks to eat with or a fork?” Yang got a kick out of that especially since the sticks that Victoria tried to give him were bbq skewers. We ended the day by having friends over to eat dessert and peruse the Black Friday shopping ads. Up until three years ago, I avoided the day and so did Gabe. Then a friend of mine invited me along with her. I was able to get all my Christmas shopping done on that one day and I was hooked. We have it pretty nice here in Appleton, though. Yes, there are still lines but the crowd is no where near the level of crowds in bigger cities. People still push, people still run and there are still fights but nothing like I have heard about in other places. We picked out the things we wanted and Gabe even decided to go this year. He went in my place last year when I was experiencing horrible morning sickness. I think he is officially hooked J! It was great just to be with friends and have someone to talk to while we waited in several 30min to 1 hour lines. On Saturday the whole family, including all three kids, made and served breakfast at the local emergency shelter. I have served at the shelter before but this time really hit me. It was probably because we had just spent a day stuffing our faces with food and then a day shopping for things that in all honest we really didn’t need. Then we walk into this place and realize that these people don’t have food or homes. It was so good to have the kids there and experience that. They helped make and serve the food and even helped with dishes. I was very proud of them. It felt great to be able to give back. On a lighter note, we ended the weekend with a Steeler victory over my husband’s beloved Patriots. In the words of both of my daughters, “Go Steelers!”. I hope that you and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Things I Am Thankful For:
- My beautiful and healthy family
- A house that has heat.
- Food (even though I came to the realization this year that I don’t like Turkey and I don’t like Pumpkin pie. I ate them just because it was the thing to do but with every bite I disliked them more and more.)
- My husband’s job which of course provides for #2 and #3
- Friends to share in the holidays with especially since our families are so far away
Our little baby is 4 months old. It is so amazing to see him change and grow on a daily basis. So, our little guy is not really so little. He weighs 19lbs. 4 oz and is 26 1/2 in. long. That puts him at the 98 percentile for weight and the 93 percentile for height. Where did this boy come from. To give you some perspective, this was how big Ellie was when she turned ONE! This might explain why he is having so much trouble rolling over. He has managed to get himself from his stomach to his back once but he seems to have a lot of trouble getting his butt over....no jokes!!! He is such a good natured baby. He loves for people to talk to him and he will just sit there and smile and laugh. I think he might be teething because he is constantly drooling and biting on things, including everyone's fingers. We are still getting up once during the night but he does go right back to sleep. Unfortunately he will not take very long naps during the day. Oh well....more time for us to sit and play with him. I am including some pictures so you can see just how healthy he is.
The Dr. gave us the go ahead to start Rhys on rice cereal. We were just waiting, though because Rhys didn't seem to have an interest in eating. That all changed on Tuesday night. After dinner, I made mango smoothies for everyone. I was holding Rhys and trying to drink my smoothie. Rhys decided the smoothie looked good and opened his mouth and tried to grab the cup from me. So, off Gabe went to purchase our first box of rice cereal. Rhys wasn't so sure of it at first but after a few spoonfuls he seemed to really enjoy it. After he was all finished, he had a big smile on his face. Gabe captured the momentous occasion on "film".
Last Friday we had an amazing family day. Victoria did not have school and Gabe decided to take a day of vacation. He never takes vacation to stay home, we are always traveling but he had some extra days. There were things, of course, that needed done around the house but we decided to have a nice morning together as a family. Gabe made yummy belgian waffles with strawberries for breakfast. They were so tasty. Then we went to Neenah to my new favorite store, The Mom and Pop Place, for storytime. Ellie, Rhys and I go there every Friday. They read stories, do an art project and then play with all kinds of toys. There is a little cafe so mom can enjoy a drink and snack. It was fun to have Victoria and Gabe join us for this outing. I think Ellie was a little confused why they were invading on her turf. After storytime, we took a brisk walk across the foot bridge in Neenah. The foot bridge was an old train bridge that went from Neenah to Menasha. They converted it to a foot bridge. It was really nice but very cold that morning. We came home, had a quiet lunch and began the chores for the day while the kids napped. I headed to Madison that night with all the youth for a youth convention. As we were driving there I reflected on how truly blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. I am so thankful that we took time to just hang out with one another and not worry about what needed to be done. As always, here are some pics from the morning!+
What a fun night last night. It was beautiful here in WI considering that it was the last day of October. I think it got up in the 60's yesterday. I decided since it was so nice that Rhys should come out on our trick-or-treat adventure with us. The girls could not wait to get out and start getting candy. As a matter of fact, Ellie woke up yesterday and said, "I get candy!". She was slightly disappointed when I told her she had to wait until that night. That turned into a bit of a lie since every place we went to yesterday handed her candy. She was on a sugar high before the actual trick-or-treating even started. At 4:00 we started out around the neighborhood. I took the kids first. That was Victoria's idea. She thought I should take them around half the neighborhood and then go home and feed Rhys while Gabe took them out. She is always so concerned about Rhys eating. It was a good plan, though. I missed trick-or-treat time last year because I had class so I was excited to see them go from house to house. They had an awesome time. Victoria was a little shy about ringing the doorbells but once she understood that you could go to the doors that had lights on, she was fine. Ellie had to run to keep up with Victoria. She was moving slow trying to check out every piece of candy that she got. I think Ellie's favorite part of the night was handing out candy. She got so excited once that she dropped all the candy on the ground. Good thing for wrappers!! It was such a fun night and everyone was exhausted. Gabe took the girls up to bed around 8:30 and everyone fell asleep in our bed (Ellie was still wearing her costume). I would say that was a good night!!!
Rhys was baptized on Sunday at St. Pius X catholic church here in Appleton. It was such a nice day. The whole weekend was awesome actually. Gabe's sister Sarah flew in from DC on Thursday. She was here in time for Gabe and I to go out to a nice dinner. We also had tickets to see the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa. They were absolutely amazing!!! My dad got in to town the next day. The girls had so much fun with Auntie Sarah and Papa. They were so sad to see them leave. Ellie tried to go home with both of them. Gabe's dad and stepmom surprised us by coming in to town Saturday. We went from thinking we weren't going to have any family here to having several relatives. What a blessing! I know that Rhys will not remember the day but it was truly special that all these people could be a part of his special day. Rhys' godparents are Nikos and Kristin Efthimiou. Gabe and Nikos met through soccer and became great friends. We also had several of my church friends attend the baptism. The catholic - methodist, mixed marriage has always been difficult. It is always hard for me to baptize the kids at the catholic church and not have my pastor be involved. I am so grateful to have a wonderful church family that is willing to attend the baptism. Deacon Rick even gave the Korb kids special tasks during the service. Here are a few pictures from the big day. And, yes, Rhys is wearing a "dress". This is the same baptismal gown that Victoria, Ellie and my nephew Luke wore. My mom had her wedding dress made into a baptismal gown with coat and hat. It means even more to us since she passed away. She was still with us when Victoria was baptized so she did get to see the beautiful gown worn. Now my dad has been driving it around the U.S. seeing all of his grandchildren baptized. It is so special for my sister and I. I feel like our mom is right there with us at the baptism.
Well pictures are a great thing, but managing them can sometimes be a nightmare. With the new website we decided to start placing all of our pictures, starting in 2008, on Flickr. This allows us to easily place our photos on the site and to have some flexibility with organizing them. If you are interested in seeing all of our pictures (there are a lot) take a look: Maentz 2008 Pictures on Flickr
We are still keeping our 2003-2007 pictures around on the old site, so you can take a peek at those if you are interested.
If you have any picture galleries out there for us to view, please let us know. We would love to put a link to them on the site.
We had a great time at Jay and Jody's wedding in Cameron, WI back in April. Jay has worked with Gabe for the last five years and it is great to see him end up with such an awesome gal. We wish them many happy years together. The girls loved dancing, hanging out with friends, and drinking root beer. Here are some of the pictures.