Dean Family Blog

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Yeah, We're Deep Around Here
We've had a fun summer over here and one of the best parts has been getting to see Josiah profess his faith in Jesus Christ last week. We went to a baptism class today so he could see if he was comfortable enough to stand up in front of the church next week and I think he's good to go. He got to visit the baptistry and thought it was really cool that there was a bathtub in the church! He practiced giving his testimony to Pastor Andy and our 'homework' this week is to do pretend baptisms this week so he's at ease with it by next weekend.

Not to be left out of the action, the girls have been professing their faith as well....sort of. Right after we prayed with Josiah last week he decided it was time to convert his sisters. Knowing his audience, he went to Grace first and told her she could be a princess (of King Jesus) if she prayed to Him. Grace is usually looking for a way to be a princess so she promptly came to me asking to pray. Sensing that her motives weren't quite correct I told her we'd do that prayer when she was a little older. :) He tried the same tactic with Kasia, who informed him that she already IS a princess! He was having a harder time with Leeza until today during his first Communion when she realized he was eating a 'snack' that she couldn't have. She informed us during lunch that she was ready to pray too. Yeah, we're raising exceptionally spiritually deep children over here!

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6 Month Check-In
So, my goal of posting more often hasn't been successful. This time I won't make that goal and we'll just see how it goes!

Since the last post we've made it through another Iowa winter, Philip and I went on an anniversary cruise to the Eastern Carribbean, we made a trip to Texas, Leeza graduated AK, Josiah graduated K and Grace finished her first year of preschool. Kasia stopped eating crayons and learned to color! Grace is now riding a big kid bike, Leeza can climb the rock wall on the fort, Josiah is a walking encyclopedia of animal facts and Kas declared she is a princess and must wear mostly dresses.

We are enjoying summer really being here. The fields are all green and beautiful from our hill. Philip has made an impressive trail through our woods and the garden is back! We're all excited to see our plants popping through the soil and the battle with the crab grass has far we're winning. Our raspberries are doing well this year, but the kids eat all of them before we can get to them each day so we're not sure how sweet they are. I'm going to have to start picking before they get up in the morning or we won't have any to put up for winter. Philip has also been putting in apricot trees and several other berry bushes so we'll have quite the selection in the coming years.

Currently we have started the birthday season in our house with Grace's party last week. She turned 4 and had a fairy cake. We ended the day by attending the DreamNight at the zoo for kids (and their families) who spend a lot of time at the University. It's a really fun night and the kids love it. We're also back to road races this year. Philip and I finished our first 7 mile race this morning with some friends. Unfortunately I woke up a few hours before the race with a stomach bug so the race was a little more challenging than I had planned for, but I'm stubborn enough that I managed to push through it. I've spent the rest of the day in bed and I'm hoping our July race is a little easier!

Coming up later this summer Leeza will have her next surgery to help correct some bladder and bowel issues. Right now it's set for August so we get to enjoy our summer before we head back to the U for an extended stay.

Ok, time to get kids in bed and then Philip and I get some time to blob on the couch after a long day!


2011 Interviews
We're a few days behind with our New Year's celebration, but due to traveling and illness tonight is what worked for us. We had our traditional carpet picnic, parade, noise makers and confetti balloons...all at 6:30 when the alarms went off. Whoever picked midnight as the time to celebrate obviously didn't have a house full of wee ones! We also did our yearly interview of each of the kids and reviewed last years' odd answers. It's fun to see how the kids have changed by their answers each year. Here's a few of this year's favorites....


Favorite song-Itsy Bitsy Spider

Dessert- Daddy's foot

Friend- 'Gace'

Animal- 'mok-ee' (monkey)

What do you want to be when you grow up? When we didn't get an answer we clarified by asking if she wanted to be a nuclear astrophysicist. She said 'YEAH!!'



Song- 'The Jesus song and story that I made up'

Friend- Sadie

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mama

If you could change your name to anything what would it be? Bell


Toy- kitchen

Song- Jesus Loves Me

TV show- Mary Poppins

What do you want to be when you grow up? a Mama

If you could change your name to anything what would it be? G


Toy- planes

Food- Candy cane

Game- Christmas Angry Birds with Percy

TV Show- Wild Krats

What do you want to be when you grow up? a 'plane driver'

What is one thing you want to do next year? eat pizza

If you could change your name to anything what would it be? Hubert


Happy Birthday Kas!
Our baby turns 2 tomorrow and the kids have informed me that that means she's no longer really a baby. That and the fact that she can practically change her own diaper, get dressed alone and is speaking in full sentences. She reminds me so much of Josiah at this age, but with a bit more spunk and a lot less caution. She can hold her own in a wrestling match with any of her siblings, can put away more food than an adult when she chooses to, but would still rather be on my hip holding her blanket than anywhere else in the world. As some of our kids are truly losing their 'little kid' looks it's so comforting to still have my little girl who wants to cuddle up and rock whenever I offer.

The house is all ready for her big day tomorrow, complete with streamers, balloons, fancy table settings, a pinata and her new big-kid pillow I made for her. The sock monkey cake is done and the older kids have helped pick her favorites for her birthday dogs, apple sauce and carrots. I should probably get to bed so I can keep up with them as they party all day tomorrow, but first a few favorites:

  • Food: hot dogs, bananas, cookies, yogurt
  • Game: Running and jumping into my arms
  • Word: WHY?
  • (thanks for teaching her that big kids!)
  • Toy: her blankets or a princess wand she can hit people with
  • Thing to do: read books in the rocking chair or put her shoes on to leave...and then take them off in the car
  • Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider and the Birthday song
  • People: Mama, Daddy, 'Gace,' Nanny, Ms. Sandi


On The Road Again - Sleeping
So, we went to my families for Thanksgiving. We had a blast as usual and the kids did great. We even visited Michael's and Erin's and played with the goats and rabbits without any major or even minor fits. I have some pictures of that I will try to get up soon. This post is to show of one the the most amazing feats ever seen, and it was performed by our very own Grace!!!

We like to call this - the amazing sleeping person! Grace doesn't usually take a nap, but when she does she is OUT. On the normal day Kim or I can just pick her up and slowly wake her up.... in the car it is a little harder. So we used it as an opportunity to entertain the other kids.... and you. Enjoy!!! :)


Workout Routine
So I told Kimmie that I was going to post this. She groaned a little but didn't forbid me do it. :-) To be honest, it is just too cute not to share with everyone. So, pay no attention to the gorgeous brunette on the on the left and focus all your attention to the adorable blond in the center. These are, after all, the best workout videos you will ever see!!


Just Keep Running
Life seems to be moving so fast right now and most days we're barely keeping up. Josiah turned 5 last week and had a robot birthday party with some of his friends (and all his sisters of course). He received 3 new Transformers that quickly became his pride and joy...and a source of prayer for me as I try to transform them each day. We had the traditional birthday pinata (made by the kids) and ate enough sugar to tide us over until next month when Leeza turns 5.

Everyone started school this week. Leeza is in Alternative Kindergarten at Lisbon and goes 3 hours every day. It took most of the last month to work out all the problems in her equipment, medications and bowel program to get her ready to start. Her teacher seems great and insisted she have a helper with her for at least part of the day to help her when she has classes outside of their classroom...something for which I had been asking for most of the summer and was enormously grateful for. Josiah is enrolled in the Home School program here and will start his supplemental classes there next month, but we started our classes here the same day Leeza started. Josiah is working on Kindergarten work, Grace is doing preschool and Kasia is eating crayons and trying to sit on the table. I'm still trying to convince Josiah that what we're doing is 'real' school, but it's been tough because he sees Leeza go to the 'big building' with her back pack. (Actually, her principal holds it for her as he helps her walk in each day and it's humorous to see him wearing a tiny pink back pack.) Hopefully once Josiah's classes and field trips start up he'll believe this is 'real.'

I've had to take a couple weeks off running because I pulled a muscles and am hoping I can slowly start back up this weekend. If all goes well I might still be able to find a half marathon to do this fall, but I definitely won't be ready for the one I thought I would run next month. Philip is working like crazy right now while his program is in another crunch time. In our 'free time' we are still trying to keep the crab grass from eating up the entire yard (we are champion crab grass growers in case you haven't heard) and Philip is always working on getting wood for the burner this winter. We've also agreed to be a host family for an international student at the local college. Our girl is from Brazil and should be arriving some time next week. She'll be living at the school, but will hopefully join us for meals frequently. Grace wakes up each morning asking if her friend is here yet.

That's about it for now. Can't promise I'll keep the blog updated any better than I've done recently, but I will try to get a few pictures up soon!

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