Friday, April 24, 2009

What's in the Box?

Often times when trying to duplicate one of those heartfelt scenes from a Hollywood movie, the end result is far less climatic than desired or anticipated. This time, the result exceeded our wildest dreams and prayers. Today is Owen’s 4th birthday. And now that almost 4 years have passed since our dog Tynan died, we were all ready for a new one. Jon and I knew that Owen, our total animal lover, especially dogs, would go absolutely crazy if we bought him a furry four legged friend. It was a perfect excuse to get him (or should I say, the family) a puppy. We could hardly bare the days leading up to today, knowing what was about to happen. Some how we kept it together and the unveiling of his precious present gave many of us tears.

We waited to give Owen his present until the end of the school/work day. That way we all could be home to enjoy the moments as well as invite family to be a part of this night. Prior to Owen opening the box we asked him what he thought it was. He was clueless. We brainstormed some things at the final one mentioned was a stuffed animal. When he opened the box, Owen was speechless. His Kool-Aid grin said it all! Then he uttered, "it’s a real puppy!" Owen hugged that sweet jet black puppy forever and eventually decided to name her, ZOE! She’s a cutie, alright, weighing 2 pounds 3 ounces.

About 10 minutes passed when the next surprise hit! Jon quietly left the room and came back with, yet another puppy in his arms…this time for the rest of the family. It took awhile for it to be noticed but once they did…YOWZA! Brinkley, Zoe’s brother, shocked Baylee and Nathan completely and even more so, thrilled them more than I think they ever have been before! Brinkley is more playful and adventurous than Zoe, but a little peanut! He’s only 1 pound 15 ounces. Nathan thinks he’s “Awesome” because it looks as if Brinkley has black glasses around his eyes, like Nathan does.

Both tiny puppies are from the same litter. Their mom Maggie is a purebred Miniature Poodle and dad Jasper is a purebred Shih-Tzu. So our breed is considered a Shih-Poo.

Oh how our lives have changed from this day forward! ☺

(Video was taken, however I have no clue how to post it. Once I do…it will be here. Check back.)

Our Sleeping Beauty!

I just love watching my kiddos sleep, don’t you!?

This is my precious, lovable, and totally adorable Owen all tucked in for sleep with Cocoa our family mascot, the last time as a three year old. Tomorrow is his birthday. I simply can’t believe he’ll be four. Where has my baby gone? {sigh} It seems like yesterday when we had an unseasonably large rain storm when he finally entered this world ten days late, weighing 9 pounds and 21 inches long. Oh how blessed we felt for having another safe delivery and a totally healthy child, completing our Party of Five.

Bringing Owen home to his brother and sister will always be a highlight in my life. Both were (and still are) enamored by him. Who wouldn’t be?

In honor of my birthday boy, I’ve asked the family to tell me four things that makes Owen so very special. We could go on all day, but as tradition has it, we’ll stick to four…his very special number for now!

4 things we totally LOVE about Owen…

To Owen, Love Baylee ☺
1. I love how he plays with me.
2. I love reading with him. He listens so well.
3. I like his smile.
4. I love his drawings.

To Owen, Love Nathan ☺
1. He is helpful to me.
2. I love when he runs with me.
3. I love the way he looks up to me.
4. I love how he says funny things in cute ways. He makes us laugh a lot.

To Owen, Love Daddy ☺
1. I love his smile.
2. I love how excited he gets when he sees a family member come home.
3. I love how he prays.
4. I love his sense of humor.

To Owen, Love Mommy ☺
1. It’s your smile Owen that we all adore. It’s genuine and full of life. I can’t help but smile back.
2. I love how you enjoy one on one time with me, playing whatever. You enjoy me reading to you, playing Star Wars, cars, puzzles, walking, drawing, Playdough, etc.
3. I love how you communicate. I’ve never met a kid who can talk as much as you. Your vocabulary is so vast and what you talk about is important. I especially love how you use words like, “Actually”.
4. You are adventurous and easy going. You will play with anyone, make a friend with anyone, and go anywhere for the “thrill” of it. Even a trip to the mailbox is exciting for you. You help me discover what’s right in front of my face and appreciate the little things like the shape of the moon, yellow flowers, and everyday animals.

Baylee, Nathan, Jon, and I praise God for the life he gave in Owen and thank Him for loaning us to him. May we cherish each day and honor the Lord in the way we raise sweet Owen Jon Kempiak.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

☼We Celebrate the Earth☼

This year’s Earth Day we met up with Jon after work at a local plant nursery to choose which tree we wanted for our backyard. It was unanimous, a Purple Plum. Quickly we came home and dug just the perfect hole for our new, beautiful tree.

Afterwards we headed to the mall to take the Disney Store up on an offer. For every 3 empty plastic water bottles turned in, each child received a, Earth Day 2009 Mickey Mouse reusable water bottle. The kids love them.

Then…it was off to the movies. We watched Earth by Disney. All five of us thought it was remarkable! It followed three animal families in all seasons; Polar Bears, African Elephants, and Humpback Whales.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nathan's a Tiger

This baseball season. Nathan’s third, is especially fun for him! A few close buddies from class are on the Tiger’s team! Andrew and Michael joined him and Isaiah and Tony from season one and two did too. All four boys are precious friends to Nathan. It’s always comforting having people you care about all around you!

Nathan continues to dazzle us with his athletic abilities. He stays alert during the whole game and boy can he clobber the ball! But still, his most favorite thing in the world is running!

We love cheering on our sweet Nathan!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Hunt

Early Easter evening, once all other activities are done, we send the kids on a search for their Easter baskets. For us, we prefer to do this after church and study, as well as family dinner so the focus of the day can be on the true meaning. We were finally home and the kids got in their pajamas and then the hunt began. Each searched high and low for their baskets which were hidden in some very unusual places. Then it was time for our “family egg” to be found.

Let me explain…Three years ago, after hearing about this idea in my Live, Laugh, Love Club One, our family found a large plain plastic egg that we decorated to represent us as a Party of Five. Then each Easter that egg is hidden and the kids have to search for it. Once found, they unveil the “family gift” inside.

Here's our egg:

This year’s gift inside was too large to fit in our family egg so we made a code for them to decipher. Baylee and Nathan loved having to be detectives to crack the code!
This is what the code looked like:

Easter 2009 has been a great one!

Easter Reflections

After our family dinner, we stopped by Cosmo’s Dog Park where Johnny’s memorial bench is (I love this place). We brought new flowers and just spent some time reflecting there. My brother’s life was such an answer to earnest prayer when he finally came into a personal relationship with our Savior about six years before his death. It was then that God opened his eyes and Johnny realized that Christ’s final words, “It is finished” meant that the payment for Johnny’s sins (and ours) past, present, and future were taken care of by the King. No shame is needed when we fail, just total gratitude and awe to Jesus. Whenever you feel like you’ve failed, remember Easter morning when a new life has begun…because each day is new for you too!

♥Easter 2009♥

After church, Aunt Linda and Uncle Jimmy hosted our Easter dinner. It’s always so nice to be with family. Aunt Linda fixed our traditional meal which included ham, cheesy potatoes, salad, rolls, and the ever anticipated "Bailey secret" ham eggs. Afterwards we snapped some photos and had an egg hunt for the 4 cousins.
Happy Easter everyone! He has risen’, He has risen’ indeed! We have so much to celebrate!

(The traditional "cousin" line up...done before I was even born...generation from generation")

(California and Colorado family…wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all be together for Easter one year like the good ol’ days? The invitation is always open!)