Thursday, January 21, 2016

Silly Kids

I pulled out the big camera to try to get some good pictures of the kids.  This is what I got...

 Total silliness!!  They were crazy.  Did manage to get one cute one.  These guys are awesome!!  Love them so much!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Rocking Saturday

We had a great day on Saturday.  Love full days that are full of fun!  Ben spent the night at Evan's house so he wasn't around in the morning but Kate was so she got to work on her 100 day project.  She is so excited about the 100th day of school this week so she couldn't wait to do her project.  I will share the completed project later in the week but know it is awesome!
 Saturday was all about the birthday parties!  First up with Perry's big Peter Pan party.  Kelly did a great job planning it out and the kids had so much fun.  Check out the cake!  It was also very yummy!!

 Ben and Kate had fun playing games and taking a whack at the pinata.

 And just being silly!!
 After that party, Ben headed to his friend Clayton's party.  It was a "game truck" party.  This giant truck came and they got to play video games.  Nothing better for a group of 8 and 9 year old boys.  No pictures since he is now too big for mom and dad to go to parties with him!

Saturday night we met the Cabras for dinner and the Havoc game.  It was a crazy night full of lots of laughs.  Nothing quite seemed to go our way but we made the best of it and laughed.  Dinner was a giant debacle but I won't go into that!  We made it to the hockey game which was lots of fun.
 It was the Melissa George night started by some friends of ours to raise money for the NICU.  We always like to go and support the evening and the work they do.  Everyone had a blast at the game and we got to see a few fights!

By the time we got home after 10 o'clock we were all worn out from such a busy day but it was great!  Glad to have fun days like these with family!

Friday, January 15, 2016

2016 Week 2

Week 2 kicked of with a low key Saturday that ended with a game night at Andrew and Kelly's.  We got Andrew Pandemic Legacy for Christmas.  It is a long play game that builds on itself.  We plan to play it over the year.  We won the first game and saved the world.  It was a good start.  
 Winter finally arrived on Sunday.  After an unusually warm few weeks it was nice to have a cold spell.  Everyone had to pull out their heavy coats and we saw some snowflakes on the way to church!  These guys were really excited about the cold!
 Kate has been asking (maybe bordering on begging) for weeks to go to Ichiban.  She loves the hibachi noodles!  She was so excited when we went after church.  Look at that big smile.  She was in her happy place.
 Monday was awesome!!!  Our sweet friends the Sanfords (who we visited in Denver last summer) were in town so I checked the kids out of school early for some play time.  They were so excited to have a couple of hours together.  They picked right back off where they left off in the summer.  Thankful for sweet friends!
 Tuesday Kate's theater class kicked off for the semester.  She is so excited about the Peanuts play they are going to be doing in the spring.  I even found a Snoopy shirt for her to wear from a thrift shop.  I think she had a great time since she was bouncing off the walls when she got done!
 It's always a good day when your bestie comes home from school for a playdate!  They were so excited and had a blast on Thursday afternoon.  
 Every Friday we kick off the day by listening to the song Friday in the car on the way to school.  Kate loves it and dances along.  Ben is too cool for it these days but I secretly know he loves it.  I hope they always remember how much fun we had even just in driving to school.  By the way this is the worst song ever!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How We Are Doing

We have gotten asked "How are you doing?" probably 100 times in the last few weeks.  I figured since it has been a month since we lost my dad that today would be a good day to write how we are doing.  I guess in a word we are doing "okay."  Grief is hard!!!  One minute you will be fine and then next minute you are just overcome with sadness.  Out of no where a memory will be triggered that is hard and it's a downward spiral from there.    And some days are filled with happy memories that make you smile.  It is an up and down thing.  But overall we are making it.  

It is hard living in a house with 4 people who are grieving in different ways.  Kate has been the most practical of all of us.  She loves to talk about Grandaddy!!  Not a day goes by that she doesn't mention him or something he did for her.  It is so sweet.  She is so practical in that she knows he is gone and she mentions it often that she misses him but she is not sad.  It is just her personality.  She prays often for him to be having a great time in heaven (which we know he is).  Ben is really struggling.  He took it so hard.  He lost not only his grandfather but one of his best buddies.  He doesn't talk about it much but we know he is hurting.  Time will help and we talk often about how it's ok to be sad.  I am hanging in there.  I have good moments and bad moments.  The biggest thing for me right now is finding motivation to do things.  Everything seems to just require a lot of energy that I don't seem to have.  I've had to learn to give myself lots of grace.  It's ok if the house isn't perfectly clean or if we have to eat out again.  My hurting heart is healing and that takes time.  Matt is holding us all together.  He is doing a great job at it!  He has his hard days too.  He comes home from work some days just emotionally worn out.  

We are learning to just take things day by day.  It gets overwhelming to look too far into the future.  We are doing a lot of leaning on God.  Without Him we couldn't make it through today.  But with Him we will continue to make it!  The song Because He Lives has become a favorite of all of us lately.  It sums up perfectly where we are at as a family.  Because He lives we can face tomorrow.  Because He lives all fear is gone!
My dad arranged a special surprise for us back 6 months ago.  He asked the Colonel of the Corps to give us flags that had flown over the Corps in his honor.  We had no idea he had done this until after he died and the Colonel contacted us.  Yesterday we received the flags.  We will treasure them forever.  The kids are already asking to put them up in their rooms.  Such a wonderful gesture from my dad!  But we wouldn't expect anything different because he was an amazing guy!!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 Week 1

I have started posting a picture a day on Instagram.  I am really trying to document the day to day there.  I'm not sure how I will integrate it into the blog but I'm thinking I will do some weekly posts with those pictures and then longer posts about other things when needed.  So here we go week 1of 2016 #yearofeckleys...

We woke up on Saturday with nothing going on and the whole day in front of us so we decided to head out to breakfast.  It is hard to decide on things these days because B and K like to pick opposite things (on purpose I think).  After much negotiation, we decided on Blue Plate.  It was so much fun to get to hang together as a family of 4!
 On Monday I took the kids shoe shopping for new tennis shoes.  I had forgotten how hard it is to shoe shop with both of them.  It feels like herding cats!  But we did enjoy some fun time together and a last lunch out before school starts back.  They both got great new shoes for a new semester.
 Tuesday it was back to real life for all of us.  I went back to work for the first time in 3 weeks.  It was good to be back in the swing of things.  My sweet coworker kept things going in the office for me while I was gone and got me some awesome gifts!!
 This girl is crazy!!  She keeps us laughing all the time!  Including eating chips right out of the bag!
 Best money we ever spent - Panthers hat for Ben.  It has not left his head except for school and church since Christmas morning.  He comes right in from school and puts it on.  So cute!
 Our little guy is getting so big.  He even has his own phone now!!  AHHHHH!!!!  We have given him more freedom with friends but we wanted to be able to keep track of him and have a way for him to contact us.  We found out about this great watch designed for kids his age.  He can call and text only the numbers we give permission.  We can also use it to track where he is in the neighborhood.  It's great and he loves it!  Hard to believe he is old enough to have his own phone.  And even better it is a watch phone!!
 We have the best friends ever!!  We haven't had to cook a meal since before my dad was in the hospital.  We have had friends bringing us dinners for weeks.  It is so great because we don't have to worry about food but we get be together for dinner.  We have really enjoyed it.  I can't believe I will have to actually cook again one day.
That is week 1 of 2016.  It's off to a great start!

Monday, January 4, 2016

An Awesome Sunday!

Yesterday was such a fun day!  After church we headed over to celebrate our little Pear Bear.  He turned 3!!!  So hard to believe that little redhead is growing up so fast.  Kelly and Andrew hosted a little family party for his actual birthday.  I love this picture with the cupcake thief caught in the background.  
 Happy Birthday sweet Perry!!  We love getting to see you grow up and having fun with you!
 After the party, we joined up with the Wrights for a hike in the woods behind their neighborhood.  There are some great trails.  We had so much fun exploring and checking it out.  We hiked for over 5 miles.  The kids loved every minute of it!

 We gave the Wrights a hard time for now showing us this awesome place before now.  We are looking forward to lots more hikes in the future.
Then we had our last planning meeting for our new life group.  We are launching a new group with the Johnsons in a couple of weeks. It is so exciting to see what God is going to do with our new group!  So see it was an awesome Sunday!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lost Tooth

Our little Kate is getting so big and grown up.  Yesterday she became even more grown up when she lost her very first tooth!!!  She was so excited and so brave when her daddy pulled it out.  She really wanted it to come out before she went back to school so she could sign her name to the January tooth in her classroom.  We love her sweet little smile that is now missing a tooth.  So cute!!!!