• Black Diamond Slope Ahead

    Perhaps the goggles should have been a warning. We were headed for a ride on the mule to meet some homeschool friends at the park in the next neighborhood. I chuckled when Mcree put his goggles on. About 2 minutes out I realized he was the smarter one. He had taken off the front windshield that allows more wind to blow through the front. What I didn’t realize is that when you get up to max speed, it is almost impossible to keep your eyes open while driving. Impossible. I was a bit envious of those goggles. Lesson learned. I’m sure my friend (who has 3 girly girls and a brand new baby boy) wondered about this kid…hair unbrushed, sporting ski goggles 5 sizes too big, star wars shirt on, camo lanyards around his neck with a dangling compass. Oh this kid. IMG_5601

  • Multiply That

    We have gotten to care for so many sweet families these last few weeks. It has been special, yet crazy at times, but oh how I have loved getting to know these kids more! One family entrusted us with their 3 little kids without ever meeting us. Sometimes desperate situations call for complete trust in a strangers. Our church body pours out so much love to each other. It blows me away. If you think your current number of children is hard…double that number for a few days and you will realize the blessing with your “little clan.” God really poured out grace and gentleness to my spirit to extend to these little souls. What a gift to be able to care for these little ones! IMG_5622IMG_5524IMG_5540IMG_5554

  • Girly Things

    This girl has so many toys…and yet all she wants are her babies. Love this little girl!IMG_5623 IMG_5568 IMG_5559

  • Deep Breath

    The second I saw the ocean…all was right with the world. It didn’t matter that some little girl pooped in her swimsuit, or that jelly fish stung multiple parts of my children’s limbs. We all needed a little wind in our hair and sand between our toes to get back to what matters. It always renews us, always wakes us up, and always creates a unending curiosity for nature in my kids hearts. We were thankful this day for friends who are currently living at the beach to spur us on this adventure. On our way home Mabry repeated over and over, “Mommy, that was so fun!” Creating kids hearts to long for the water!

    Speaking of water, the boat is coming along. It is in multiple pieces right now as it is getting a complete overhaul. “Dr. Diesel”, aka Rad is working hard to get her back in the water. Hoping by mid to late May to be back sailing again. And we got a slip at a local Marina down the street (we could drive the Mule there)! We are so excited to get to see other parts of the water this summer. Already dreaming about days on water. IMG_5620IMG_5604IMG_5612

  • Sad Goodbye

    IMG_4415My Aunt Joan (my dad’s only sister) was a special person. She was quite a story teller and with her heavy Boston accent, you couldn’t help but cling to every word she said, wanting to know how the story was going to end. She made you feel special, and loved, and so very thought of. A few days ago she lost her battle with life and as I write this tears stream down my face. I can’t decide if I am more sad for her sweet sweet husband she left behind, her daughter and 3 sons that remain, or her sweet grandkids who thought she hung the moon. And then there is my Dad, the only living family member on his immediate side. No more mother, dad, brother or sister. My Aunt Joan’s daughter was with her a lot during this last year helping to care for her on many occasions and it was so very sweet to hear that she got to know her mother and her life story more this last year than in her whole life. I guess it is through death that we sometimes learn how to live. I wish more of my life would have been spent in closer proximity to my Aunt Joan. I know I missed out on such sweet times with her!

    These photos were taken almost 2 years ago when we traveled to Boston for my grandmothers funeral. This was the first time my kids had met my Aunt Joan and Uncle Wally. (She had fallen just before her mother’s funeral so she had some bruises on her face)IMG_3935

  • Craving Family Time

    Not going to pretend that I haven’t missed our family time. I had been dreaming of hours together doing something adventurous or nothing at all. Just the 5 of us being together was all I wanted. And lucky for us all that happened yesterday. The hours and days of boat sanding halted, the yard grew a little longer, and the house stayed unkept. All that didn’t matter because our hearts were full after time together yesterday.

    We headed to Fort Pulaski for the 154th anniversary of the siege of the fort. There were cannon firings, musket demonstrations, the raising of the flag, and Mcree’s favorite….the singing ladies. He sweetly asked if I would dress up like that and sing. Oh I love him! Then we had a picnic and headed to the boys swim meet. This was really the first sport the boys have been involved in that there was some sort of competition. It was a blast (although Rad said the chaos and noise in the aquatic center made him feel like a border collie at a fireworks event…haha!) I was so proud of the boys for their perseverance and all their hard work showed. Gress won one of his heats for freestyle swimming. Way to go boys!

    Then it was time for haircuts. The boys had small chinchillas on their heads so they desperately needed some grooming. Mcree requested a mohawk (yea right) and well, I accidentally got a little happy with the shorter clippers so he now has a surfer style bang comb over. His hair is impossible to cut. You either have a bowl haircut or something resembling a Chinese man with hair straight up. Luckily it will grow and we can cut it all over again! Mabry asked to get a haircut too (clearly she thought she was missing out) so I trimmed a little off the back just for fun. And how do you remove all that hair? Of course you take a mule (“high powered golf cart”) ride.

    The day was so full that Mabry was exhausted even before dinner time. She had a teenage size tantrum, asked to be wrapped in her fish towel, and proceeded to take a “nap.” She didn’t wake up for 12 hours.

    My heart is now full. The boat sanding can resume. (I think Rad just did a cartwheel!)

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  • A Rare Find

    Oh how my heart is full right now. Our sweet farmer friends showed up Tuesday afternoon and poured out all kinds of love on us. They filled our hearts to the brim with great conversation and oh did we have a lot of life to catch up on. The kids have all grown so much and it was so sweet to see them all together. The farmer’s also filled our stomachs with an amazing dinner (fun burgers…one of our favorites) complete with everything grown on their farm (beef burgers from their cow topped with a fried duck egg and garden grown kale layered with cream from their cows.It is a rare treat to have friends that love on you in the way they do.

    The farmers recently had a baby goat born on the farm that barely made it so they have been nursing this little guy back to life. AND THEY BROUGHT IT WITH THEM!!!! This was such a special treat for us all, especially for Mcree. He was IN LOVE with this little one). Luna even got to test our her herding skills. We always knew they were in there somewhere. My camera didn’t get out much and sad to say the group photo of the kids is missing the Farmer’s sweet baby girl (however the goat did make it in the photo…something is wrong with the priority of that!).

    Our family is so very thankful for this sweet sweet friendship! IMG_5432 IMG_5441 IMG_5446 IMG_5451 IMG_5461

  • Beauty…

    My very smart husband has the amazing gift to help entrepreneurs start and grow their business. He challenges them, pushes them, constructively criticizes them, and cheers for their success. It is an amazing talent and a love that God placed in his heart and mind. He is just on the cusp of helping our Church’s worship leader’s wife start a flower business. This girl is crazy talented in more than just flowers. She makes flowers look more beautiful than they are. She has joyfully followed every step of starting her business and her drive to succeed is so fun to watch. These showed up on Rad’s desk yesterday with a sweet thank you from her. They now adorn my dining/school table and make me smile every time I go near them! I can’t wait to watch her talents grow! IMG_5416

  • Heel Kicking Fun

    These kiddos make my life so fun and crazy! I have gotten a little bit of time with each of them separately this last week and I love to see how God made each of them differently. They are sweet, and fun, and have such interesting things to talk about when you get them one on one. And when they get a special treat or something just their own they always consider whether they should get something for their sibling. Oh I love their hearts for one another. Gress is currently in the front yard playing bubbles with Mabry and Luna…..this after hosting a “tea party” for Mcree and Mabry. I love how they do activities like that that they know the other person would love.

    Nevermind their crazy hair in just about every photo. Clearly it is haircut time again! But do notice Mabry’s little foot kicked up in the grocery cart photo. She and I feel the same about shopping along. It’s exhilarating! IMG_5374 IMG_5378 IMG_5379 IMG_5396 IMG_5401 IMG_5405 IMG_5407 IMG_5414 IMG_5348

  • Adventures with Mimi

    It’s always so fun to have Mimi here. We explored, played, worked, and had fun together in the beautiful weather. It’s a good thing she didn’t stay longer since the big pile of mulch was next on the list! We love her adventurous spirit and her willingness to help wherever needed. Mabry wanted Mimi wherever she went and didn’t need me as long as Mimi was around. It was sweet. THANKS MIMI for making the trek to see us (and for watching the kids so we could have a date night!!). IMG_5292 IMG_5306 IMG_5316 IMG_5317 IMG_5319 IMG_5342 IMG_5343 IMG_5353 IMG_5369 IMG_5371 IMG_5382