Monday, August 19, 2013


today bear bear got to meet his teachers for the upcoming preschool year. that simple statement cannot possibley convey the complexity of waking all the adorables , loading them into the veen, unloading at home, changing for all and showering for me, corraling the babes back in the veen, and finally locating the  new driveway and preschool room at the outdoor discovery center. thankfully, bear was super excited, so his enthusiasm helped move things along when the other children vocalized their preference to stay at the campground.

we had to be there before noon so i felt as though i was both sprinting in a race and coaching a team of little leaguers to ensure we arrived on time and relatively presentable in appearance.  maxer was appreciative of an opportunity to see harv again and played contentedly with his pup while i speed showered, started laundry and scrambled to find clean clothes for the chidren. ayla methodically removed all her ponies from her room and lined them up beautifully in a parade around the living room. bear bounced from sibling to sibling to mom eager to  set out for school.

 thankfullly, our neighbors the thurstons pulled into the correct outdoor discovery center drive just after i drove right on by so i got a clue and turned around to join her at the correct location. our children prompltly shot out of their seats and began climbing a large sand pile in which they found a frog. things were off to an amazing start. once we wiped off frog poop and reassembled the darlings, we ventured  into the classroom.

 ms. emily welcomed us and began a friendly and informative tour pointing out the students hooks for coats and rainsuits, some blocks crafted from tree branches, a bean table, the reading area, a crafting center and lots more areas of intrigue. the entire time bear worked his cute little mouth into all manner of sideways smiles. the siblings were mostly well behaved. soon the kleins joined us for more meeting an greeting of ms. rachel. the outdoor play area beckoned us all, so we purused the tps and balance beams, and giant lincoln logs. next we explored the pond area and boardwalk. after an hour, we considered ourselves acuainted.. so very grateful for westons excitement.

  we were feeling exuberant and therefore i splurged on some mconalds which we scarfed while heading to target to do some birthday girl shopping, with the birthday girl. tricky. it was super fun to show her some cool ideas, all involving ponies, and watch her delighted expression. but so difficult to actually purchase something without her knowledge. each time i would present to her a princess cadence my little pony or a pink barbie and pony combo she would ditch whatever was in her hands and grab ahold of the new option. then baby blue would pass the discarded pony and become outraged that it was not in the cart.

the brothers were so great.  first of all, they brought their remaining puppy money to spend so they were super entertained and occupied. then they  were hilarious and committed to distracting cupcake from whatever i was hiding in the cart. i spent money, they spent money, but i really have no recollection of what is in those bags still in the back of my van. we shall all be surprised come wednesday.

yesterday brought a huge surprise for me. my baby sister kelsey came home for a quick visit from france. unbeknowest to me. so as i was unloading the veen of aylaroo, i saw my brother in law austin pull in near our camper. hey.. what are you doing here. and then surprise, kels and meggles walk on over. the reunion was beautiful though way to short.  i selfishly piled the darlings into the camper to watch my little pony for the nine hundredth time this week so i could catch up with my sister.  from what i could gather, kels is happy and healthy and as gorgeous as ever. hoping to meet again bfore her departure. hard to get enuf.

 we are back at the campground recuperating from the exhausting day by playing at the hottest park on the property. sweat is literally dripping down my legs as i blog and the kids are pretending to be kittens. except max, he is excavating the sand from one location to another. why arent we at the pool or in the freezing cold camper? im about to change that. come on littles

Friday, August 16, 2013

week one

 After one week of campimg, I am happy to report all is well. In fact all is amazing.  The adorables are having a beautiful time of bonding and playing and biking. I am just so content to get to spend my days in the sunshine chasing after my favorite peeps. Clothes are typically dirty and hair is tangled,  but the fun is flowing. the boys discovered a croquet set buried in the back of the camper and cannot get enough of setting up a course and slamming the balls through. We have been reading and coloring and playing made up games with cards and dice because those are the things we brought along and they are enough.

When I live simply here at the campground, I am reminded that not much is required for a life of  peace and joy. Actually,  simplistic living enables me to really appreciate the best parts of life, relationships and people and not so much the stuff. the lord is really teaching me about needs and wants through getting groceries only when we dont have food for lunch and doing laundry only when there are not undies for tomorrow.  Contentment is a blessing.

Upon arriving back to the campground after a long walk, bear returned announcing that one of the horses he spotted was pregnant.  Curious,  I asked wes what he thought pregnant meant.  Weston says "when you are really nice". priceless!  so basically he thinks whenever we revealed to people our big news, we were really telling the world how nice we are. Love that child. also, let it be known, the boys are considering baby simon as an alternative option to ralph. brad and i are not.

Ellie nyhof turned 8 yesterday and we were honored to celebrate with her this momentous occasion.  Logically,  we partied at craigs cruisers. With the buffet,  the games, and the gocarts, craigs was the perfect location to demonstrate our thankfulness at having such an exceptional little girl in our lives.

maxer is especially appreciative of the birthday cupcakes

Our little prinpress ayla jo was so fascinating to behold. looking around at all the mamas holding newborns in little carriers, it was quickly apparent my baby blue is no longer so baby. She raced around keeping up with the brothers. When she was to little to drive a mini go cart, brad took her along on the side by side adult carts. Those things are superfast but cupcake was cheering the entire time. When we moved indoors and attempted frogger, a bouncy ride that lifts the children high in the air then plummets downward,  the operator expressed some comcerns about little aylaroo being just qualified to ride. Little girl's enthusiasm won him over and she smiled and kicked and screeched way more than her biggest bro. In fact, max did not enjoy the frogger experience at all.

Today we finally relinquished to the darlings the $20 we promised them as a reward for taking such great care of the puppies.  Bear has shed many tears regarding his confusion on money and spending.  I think i may have developed a system involving a baggie and lists and lots of patient explanations that will help teach the adorables the value of a dollar..  So wes made  his first purchase.

A disgusting marshmallow squeeze goo thing which he hated.  Hoping for some life lessons to be learned.  The other kids havd not asked even once to spend their cash, though they have spent plenty of ours. (max favors candy secrets, also known as candy cigarettes) Such differences in those three littles!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

hungry for camping

We r enjoying day 5 of our second camping experience at hungry horse campground.  the  timing is ideal as summer days are fleeting and school quickly approaching.  therefore, this trip is all about savoring summer.

Though the trip started a bit rough for the nyhofs, involving a super late arrival due to some camper issues, we have settled nicely into camp life. I have consumed 3 novels already and plan to finish #4 momentarily.  The temps have been unseasonably cool, so the fires feel beyond delish. Swimming hasn't lost its luster for the adorables despite the chill.
Ayla jo is quite the little fishy. she starts running for the pool as soon as she has donned her cute suit. her fave is the baby "cool". the 2 feet of water suits baby blue perfectly. she packs her ponies and teaches them how  to go undah. darling.

the brothers are way brave in the pool. swimming lessons did not work out this summer, but this pool time has improved their skills enormously. max is not comfortable  swimming underwater without plugging his nose so brad bought him a nose plug in an act of pure genius. now maxer is swimming stronger with two arms .  we have already lost the noseplug twice, once underwater and once in the chaotic camper. so now we have two because the lost were rescued.

Nyhofs returned from a trip to camp america with a treasure: a hammock.

 we r quite appreciative  :)

Maxwell made some friends again this trip. as a mom, its so wonderful to see my son forming his own relationships.  max is so sweet natured and thoughtful. He is considerate and really fun. what a blessing to watch others appreciate him to. 

the adorables have discovered a new exciting camp adventure. they walk the hayride trail leading to the horses and residence of the campground owners. Its a long journey for the babes, taking them 20 ish minutes to complete. the children are also never visible to val and me once they depart. fearing that a kid or two may be lost, we arm the babes with a cellphone and instructions to call with updates. feeling brave and mature, the fabfive set out and val and i eagerly await for a call explaining they are by the hill or horses or road. None of that really means a lot as we are not really familiar with the trail.  we are comforted to know thsy are safe however.

during todays voyage, a man approached us moms asking if we owned a large dog who may be lost in the woods. once we assuured him we did not, he then mentioned it might be a coyote he spotted in the woods. so val and i  split up to locate our kids before a coyote found them. all is well. we welcomed the cuties home and they immediately became distracted by the bouncey house. and even tho ayla suffered a scraped knee and aubrey bit her tongue, and bear hurt his foot, it still seemed safer than a coyote hunt. 

Poor bear has been a bit accidenct prone during his wildness. The first 2 days he crashed his bike. The first time he was attempting to ride down a large hill backwards. Lesson learned. now max just came racing up proclaiming wes is hurt bad. i walked quickly til i met  another mom carrying my wailing son. upon reuniting with weston, kris explains he was stung by a bee. this is a very dramatic ordeal and he is hysterical talking to me about how he has never been stung by a bee camping and he was not bothering it at all. he insists we must call dad very soon to ell him about this tragedy. 

 So brave! praying tomorrow is less painful but just as memorable.


ridge point started a new series tonight about becoming fearless followers of christ. pastor kevin retold the amazing story of david and goliath. never does the challenge, the bravery, and the beautiful victory get old. especially when we recognize that david wasnt necessarily confidnet in himself, but in his god. in our god. david knew with certainty that no matter what happened in this fight with a giant, it was going to be so cool because god was in charge and david had full confidence that all the circumstances would be utilized for gods  glory.    

    we all have the opportunity to live heroically when we follow jesus with the same trust and  expectation that david demonstrated. and we dont necessarily have to use a slngshot in a duel against a giant either. there are lots of circumstances that allow for us to be brave.

  when i think about people i know who are courageous, i think of the leegwaters. they live every day with a super scary diagnosis of cystic fybrosis for their adorable son elliot. every day they fight to keep him healthy. they do this with faith and hope and strength that comes from the lord alone. resting securely in the arms of jesus, jeff and marcie do whatever they need to in order to ensure their boy is thriving.      

  they are not the only ones braving parenthood well. all mamas and daddys must heroically face a fallen world.  because nothing is scarier than watching your very heart walk around outside of your body where it can be injured and treated unfairly by other people and overall be thought of as anything less than the darling and precious treasure that they are.   There is no guarantee that even if u do everything right your adorables will experience little to no pain. we live in a terrifying fallen world with accidents and illnesses and sin that is inescapable.

with this baby, i have been scared. i feel inadequate and lose sleep because i do not yet have socks purchased for this baby though i can rationalize to myself how many months i yet have to prepare and how generous friends and family are to ensure baby will never have bare feet in january unless we are intentionally getting a glimpse at those exquisite toes. however, in the still of the night, i am scared. and this evenings sermon made me again recognize why: i am depending on my own capabilities rather than confidently clinging to the most capable and powerful one there is.

Knowing that the lives of all my adorables are carefully intertwined within the presence of jesus gives me the peace to love on my babes without reserve. and that is a life of abundant blessing,  one I am so thankful to live.