At the Lake

Headed to Altoona this past weekend to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday. On Saturday we made the shorter trip to the lakehouse for some fun in the sun.

We could not believe how much better at swimming the boys were even from just a month ago! Needless to say, they all loved every second and I didn’t mind watching their happiness.

Trysten spelled my name with Legos. I was quite impressed with how much it looked like “Tesi”!


I have too many to share, but we actually had a lot of fun! These are ones that didn’t make the cut but that I’ll treasure forever because I think they show just how genuinely full of joy the family is these days.

Somehow their days always end up without their shirts on.

It was worth a shot. I still love their little butts though. 🙂

I told them “think of something funny”.

Then I pretended to hit Zachary playfully in the nether region. My kids have no sympathy for their father.

Pay special attention to Tomas’s face -he makes it a lot and Trysten’s face- he also makes that a lot.

I really do look like most of the time. Zach says you can hear me laughing in this picture (truth be told you probably could, I have an obnoxiously loud laugh).

Trysten’s karate kick

Tomas’s “jump”. This kid disappointed me greatly has no ups yet. We are working on calf raises and weighted jumps as we speak. 😉 But God love him for trying so hard.

Tariku frustrated me to no end. He probably has the best smile in our whole family and when asked to deliver last night would give me this. Zach said Tariku was so frustrated with me he was probably doing it on purpose. Heehee. He came through for me in the end, though, like I knew he could.

Dailah “Doozie” on the other hand, needed no prompting. I’m going to do a full post on her sometime because she was just too much. Put her in front of the camera and she brings the attitude. Here she is telling Zach and hotflawedmama a good story when she’s supposed to be smiling for her single.

There were no outtakes of Bini because he can’t help but smile, he’s seriously that cute. We did have this, probably my favorite picture of my boys.

Just joy, my family is just joy.

“The Bigs”. They are rarely found without their arms around each other, honestly.

“The Littles”. While the bigs wrestled, the littles played kitties.

The boys. We got not one single good shot of them smiling, this was towards the end when Tomas and Tariku were being squirrley. So Zach wanted a “Kennedy shot”.

The girls, so very outnumbered.

 “The eldest” and “The Original”.

My favorite man and hotflawedmama. You can see the paleness love, right?


For the picture frames in our house…

Trysten – 7 years old

Tomas – 6 years old

Tariku – 5 years old

Dailah – 4 years old

Binyam – 3 years old

Hotflawedmama – still young, still watching her kids with love in her heart and a smile on her lips.

Family Photo Shoot

I was purusing Target yesterday sans kiddos, and like most days at Target, came away with more than I had on my list. But this time I had a plan. I wanted family pictures. I found some white t-shirts for the boys on sale for $3/each (hello!) and immediately started constructing the photo shoot.

When I told Zach of my devious ploys great idea he actually agreed with me. So after a dinner of made from scratch pizza (it’s beautiful outside which means I get to go back to cooking, no more sweating in the kitchen for me, yippee!) we changed the kids and headed out for the pictures. I want you to remember that this beautiful backdrop is where we live. It really could not get better than this.

First grouping is with all of the kids.

Kait’s Home!

My sister-in-law, Kait, is back home. She has spent the last 3 months in Sri Lanka doing some pretty rad things. Have I mentioned before how much I love her? Because I think I have.

But she had yet to meet my new sons, so I was biting at the bit to introduce them. We gave her a few hours to try to sleep off the days of travel and then we hightailed it over to visit.

Kait, Leslie and hotflawedmama

Dailah caught up with her Uncle Jake.

Binyam bonded with Julio, or as Bini calls him, “baby woosha”.

Kait brought us traditional sarongs (sp) from Sri Lanka. I’m not biased or anything, but these men are beautiful in anything. (That’s mine with the kissable lips on the far right).

The ladies got one too. Emily (aka “Cash’s mommy”), hotflawedmama and Leslie. I think it’s only slightly creepy that Zach and his brothers chose wives who look so remarkably alike.

A shot of the couples.

But actually, this is what we look like most of the time. Laughing hysterically, peeing our pants just a bit. I love them all probably a little too much.

No night would be complete without Papa Frank handing out gum to the kiddies.


Today my “littles” started preschool. It goes everyday from 9-11:30. We weren’t originally going to put Binyam in school but after talking it out we realized it’d probably be better for him in preschool than at the Y. The preschool program is through the Y and the Director is the very best, we feel confident in all of this.

That said, we are not twinning the two littles. Binyam will go to preschool for two years and Dailah will start Kindergarten, oh crap, next year. Bini turns 4 in a few weeks so he’d be a young Kindergartner anyway.

So there you go. They were both so very excited to start school today and I was jumping out of my skin sad to see them go. For a few hours every day I’m all by my lonesome, though honestly it amounts to just 1 day when I’m not teaching. I’ve decided to dedicate it to grocery shopping, so that’s fun.

But pictures. These two were the cutest humans in the world this morning, no exaggeration.

Getting in the car (I have no idea why I keep taking pics in front of my dirty car, apparently that’s just how I roll).  By the way, we had to cut Bini’s beautiful locks because he had some funkiness on his scalp that I couldn’t reach. They will grow back and I will stop feeling so sad about it.

This was completely unprompted. I go to close the door, turn around and there they are. They genuinely love each other already.

After Dailah helped Bini wash his hands it was carpet time. Oh my heart. Oh. my. heart.

Babysitting Cash

Yesterday my sis and brother-in-law were kind enough to let us babysit my nephew for a few hours. It was so much fun having him with us. He is a great baby and soo, soo precious.

At one point I had to ask Zach if babies were supposed to sleep this much, it has been awhile since we’ve had one of these little boogers.

I love baby feet!

The I’m crapping my pants smile!

During my photo session Dailah woke up and decided she was the babysitter.

I couldn’t resist

She was happier in this moment than ever before.

No shortage of cousins to feed Cash!

On Family

When Zach and I were drinking wine and celebrating abundantly reminiscing about the past 8 years of matrimony the topic of family kept coming up. As noted many times on this here blog, Zach and I were young and with child when we got married. Only now do we realize we probably couldn’t have done it without the help and support of our families. My parents and his got together to wrap their arms around us and give us a foundation of support. We didn’t know the private emails and phone calls between them that brought up who was helping with what and who could do what to make our lives a success. We had no idea how God had brought our two families together in this time of what could have been desperation for Zach and myself.

As we’ve gotten older we realize just all the sacrifices it took on our families to get us through college in 4 years, without going into debt. Did you just read that? We have amazing parents, believe me when I tell you this. We needed groceries? Done. We needed babysitting? Done. Rent? Utilities? Insurance? Done and done. We were/are absolutely spoiled. We have no doubts that what got us here was a lot of God, and a lot of support from family and friends. The way we started could’ve been a recipe for disaster if not done right but our families gave us all the tools to start our marriage off on the very best footing.

All that said, on our anniversary day Zach and I decided to do an afternoon of celebrating as opposed to night. For many reasons, one being that Bini is still nervous about nighttime and secondly, my parents were driving into town for the night. We owe at least the first 3 years of our marriage in large part to our parents so why not celebrate with them as well, right?

Since I had just gotten my camera it gave me ample opportunity to capture the many faces and reasons why I love them so as well.

The group including my parents, sister, sister-in-law and niece (though she’s still taking up space in my sis-in-law’s belly).

Montage of my mom with some of my babes.

My dad with Bini. Though Bini is blurry this is a good picture of my dad, John.

This just cracked me up. Look at the boys look at the girls. Uh oh.

Just shut it down. He’s irresistable. (And this was the worst blog ever-grammar wise, I apologize).