Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

 Happy Halloween from....
Princess Ariel,

The Amazing Spiderman,

and, of course, Mickey Mouse.

I know three precious kiddos who have been having lots of Halloween fun and
are super excited about today!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A "Real" Hayride and Pumpkins...Pumpkins!!

A couple weekends ago we went to a social in the new small group we have joined at church.  We had dinner and went on a hayride with 5 other families.  The family who hosted lives on a huge farm located far far away from Bowling Green :) 

One of the guys in our group told Jeff and I that we have never been on a "real hayride" before because we told him we had never been on one in the dark.  I'm sad to say it took me 35 years to get to go on a real hayride :)

In all seriousness, it was a lot of fun. 
Our kids loved that it was in the dark!  It was a beautiful night for a hayride.
And after being a part of the same small group for almost nine years, a change has been a bit strange for the two of us.  However, we are really enjoying the new group and getting to know some really cool people better.  We are blessed to have some great Christian friends.

October also means pumpkins!  We have been painting pumpkins:
 Mommy was in charge of the painting project.

And we've been carving pumpkins-that's Daddy's job.
The kids are supposed to draw out the face they want him to carve on their pumpkin, and this is what JJ drew on his:
I wonder why Daddy didn't carve it exactly that way...hmmm.

What fun!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Break Highlights

Playing intently in the sand....
 for hours
and hours,
taking "seashell walks" together,
playing at the pool and lazy river,
and riding in our boat with Daddy.
 One cool morning, we went to the nearby Gulfarium, where we enjoyed
watching a dolphin show, sea lion show and seeing many other sea animals.
One morning as a surprise for the kids, we rented a kayak for an hour.
Someone threw a fit and got left behind for the second leg of the adventure :(
Anslee got his spot and we went way really close to some dolphins swimming around too!
I told Jeff before we left home that I thought this trip would be one we would look back fondly on for many many years to come.
Now, I have no doubt that will be the case.

And now I remember why the second week in October
has quite possibly become my favorite week of the whole year.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beach Pictures

My kids really are good about being forced to  letting me take pictures when we are at the beach.  I think they've come to know that this is just a part of our routine on vacation and this time even Luke played along.

I know that they would rather be doing almost anything  something else, but I sure am
glad we make the effort as I will treasure photos like these forever.

Of course there are many that I adore, and others that just make me laugh:

So incredibly thankful for these four and the moments we spend together.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Break & Friends

One thing that made fall break even more special this year was that some of our good friends booked to stay with us at Waterscape.

Of course, it was great for me to have LA there and Jeff and I enjoyed early mornings with her as we staked out the best spot for everyone for the day.  With us, my parents, the Crosbys and Hunts we had quite a big group. 

Sydney and Anslee are good friends and.... now, talk about big buddies-JJ and Averi are that!!  Some days at school they walk around the playground holding hands :) Luke loves both of these girls so much and calls them AsleeAvri (one name)....needless to say, my kids were so excited that they were at the beach with us too.


How about this hole?!

Jeff and I also had a great time hanging out with Craig & Krista.

Jeff enjoyed having his buddy Craig there to throw football and talk food with :)
Our kids love Kalyn and Carson who are so good to play with them and love on them.

 Krista and I are just waiting for next year's school calendar to
come out so that we can book for next Oct. 

No pictures of our race at The Track but Krista would want me to note
 that she and Sydney zoomed past us all & won the race on the big track! 
Here's to having great friends to vacation alongside!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Race Cars

For the first couple years of his life, Luke the baby has been content watching his big sister and brother do lots of fun things-including "race cars" (go karts) at the beach.

A while ago when we started talking about the fall break trip, he would say "I ride race car" or "I ride race car with Buddy."  He knows that Sydney and JJ love to ride the cars with Buddy.  

We all 7 arrived at the beach on Friday night and Saturday was our first full day.
So on Saturday night after a great dinner at the Back Porch,
 we headed straight for The Track.
Lukey got to ride first with Buddy,
 and then me, 
 and Daddy too.
He was not scared-just smiling and happy.
The six of us did lots of race cars that night, and came back later in the week with the Hunts too.

This was also the first trip that Sydney and JJ drove on the smaller track by themselves.
 She lapped him-twice :)
They love those race cars!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Close to Being Diaper Free

We have spent 6 1/2 years with diapers.  Much of the 6 1/2 years we've had 2 in diapers.
That's about enough....

Luke is in what Daddy calls my boot camp right now.

Actually with him being the baby and all, it has become a family affair and this photo pretty much sums it up:

Sydney reading to him about going to the potty, JJ closeby playing a game 
and Luke on the potty drinking something.

This was very early in the training and he did not like the "green potty"- he wanted the "big potty"-fine by me big boy, fine by me!

 We are on day 3 and he is earning lots of stickers and m & ms!
There are big celebrations every time he has success, which is becoming more and more often.
Oh yes, and he's pretty proud of himself too.  
Way to go Lukey!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Break & Family

Not sure how else to say it except that my mom's multi year battle with myelofibrosis has been extremely hard.  It's been an absolute roller coaster for her with way too many valleys and too few mountain tops.  There have been times that it just seemed like it couldn't get worse, but then it would. 

Praise God she has fought and fought and then fought some more!  Praise God my dad is just amazing, patient and in good health to help her each and every day!  Praise God she has also had tremendous care at the Markey Cancer Center at UK Hospital!  Praise God that right now she is (we are) on a mountain top with great reason to be optimistic about her sustained recovery!  We have much to be thankful for!

There was much uncertainty as to whether she could travel with us for fall break and even two weeks before we were to leave, it did not look promising at all.  What a blessing that God planned all along for Nana and Buddy to join us!

    They have been married for 45 years and I am so lucky to call them mom and dad.
These three grandkids are charter members of their fan club as well.
I am so blessed to be wife, daughter and mommy to this crew.
I'm not sure how it works in most families, but when our family is away from home for a few days/week/whatever, we are ready (or at least a little ready) to return home.
Not this trip...not the kids, Buddy, Nana, me, Jeff...
none of us were ready for the week to be over this time. 
What a great week the 7 of us had together. 
It was truly a gift. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rain & Rainbows

Sunday of fall break brought the remnants of Tropical Storm Karen to us in Destin.

We headed to the outlet mall and to eat lunch out together.  The rain and the shopping continued into the afternoon. 

Good thing my kids have a Daddy who is willing to sit out under his umbrella while they play in the waterpark.

Early evening and on the treadmill I received a text from my sweetheart-he said get out to the beach now :) 

And here is why...

I don't ever remember seeing a rainbow like this on the beach.
They were very excited, and we were too.

The promise of a fabulous week to come...