Monday, June 25, 2012

First Weekend Of The Season At The Lake

alexa silo-blog
 There is nothing like experiencing the first sunset at the lake of the season.

The kids were excited to take in the sun, sand, water and fun at the lake.
  shane and bailey in the sand-blog

Good thing Grammy has a big hammock at the lake!
  Grammy hammock-blog

Max and Bailey decided to be Emma's helpers on a frog hunt. They were so cute following her with their little frog cage. They didn't have any luck this time out.
  frog hunting-texture-blog

The weekend was filled with .....the big kids tubing .....
  big kids tube-blog

the littles tubing .....
  tubing littles-blog

swimming ...

digging in the sand with a naked little cousin ....
  max and mataya-blog

jumping off the raft ....
  emma raft-blog

getting up on skies for the first time ....


 another successful ski run by Emma ...

  Emma skiing-blog 

 and some slaloming by Eric!


 At the end of a long day at the lake there is no better place to lay your head than on papa's shoulder.
  Max on papa's shoulder-blog

As the sun was setting the kids were still in the water jumping off the raft

and relaxing on the rafts.
  rafts at sunset-blog

What a great weekend at the lake. We are so thankful for an amazing place to spend time as a family, make special memories and soak up God's creation and all the blessings and fun that come with it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

S'mores, Sun Flare and Silhouettes

There is something about S'mores that screams summer at our house. The kids were so excited to fill the fire pit with twigs and see the first sparks fly.

  boys smiles-blog 

 You can see the excitement on the boys faces as they waited for the fire and watched their dad break out the chocolate.

The fire was ready and the marshmallows were on sticks.

Emma did the sideways stance because the fire felt a little warm she said.

Alexa was focused as she was trying to get her marshmallows warm and gooey.


 Eric seems to have the art of roasting down after all his years of experience!
  MAx and Emma-blog

Max was excited about all the yummy goodness as he took his first bite for the season.

I love seeing those little sticky fingers holding a little square of yummy goodness!
  alexa and shane-blog

It was a beautiful summer night to enjoy our first s'mores of the season.
  max marsh collage

Max decided that marshmallows were just as good as the s'mores.

In the photography class I am taking we have been working on Sun Flares and Silhouettes so I took advantage of a great evening and the sunlight to practice. I love this one I caught of Emma when she was enjoying her s'more and wasn't looking with the sun flare!
  alexa - silo 

 As the sun was going down and our night was coming to a close I was able to capture a silhouette of my big girl! What a great summer night! I can't wait for more!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double Digits

Happy Birthday-blog

I can't believe that my girl has hit the double digits!
  placesetting - blog 

 Alexa found a "Beach Party" in a book she had and decided that would be the theme of her 10th birthday party. She decided she just wanted to invite her two best friends and make it a 24 hour day of fun. Before we went to pick up Alexa's friends we set the table. Alexa and I had fun on a shopping date and preparing her table for her friends.


  girls www-blog

We started the day at the local water park to enjoy some fun in the water and the sun!
  necklace collage

When we got home the girls showered up and started on some of the crafts that Alexa had come up with for her party. The first was beading a "beachy" looking necklace.

Alexa has such a special bond with these two girls and it has been so much fun seeing their friendship grow this past year.

The also are so sweet to Emma and included her in the fun!


The table was set .....


and dinner was ready! Alexa wanted to have food that was "beachy" too! So we brainstormed some ideas and this what we came up with together! 


After dinner the girls made a "beach in a box." Alexa saw this fun idea in a book she had and this is where her Beach Party idea took off! The girls had fun putting together their own little beaches.

The girls played outside and waited patiently for the sprinklers on the golf course to come on.  They finally decided after waiting and waiting to come in for some cupcakes.  As I told Alexa to wait so I could grab the candle and sing she informed me she didn't really need a candle.  Oh my heart about sank ... is she really too old for a birthday candle :(! My little girl is growing up.  Their faces say it all.  These girls know how to have fun! 


They were in the middle of eating their cupcakes and I heard screaming ... they dropped their cupcakes and headed out the door! 

The long awaited sprinklers were on.  They danced, screamed and giggled their hearts out! 

golf course sprinkler-blog

They came in and showered again and got ready for bed.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the birthday girl curled up in bed with her friends.  They slept side by side the long way in a queen bed.  As I was tucking them in and saying prayers they were talking about their classes for the next school year.  They are all hoping to be in the same class. One of Alexa's friends said, "I just don't want to drift apart!"  


We had a chance to talk about how special their friendship was and that God knows and has a plan.  When Alexa and I were out shopping she saw these little frames and wanted to put a verse in them for her friends. We used it as part of a devotion during dinner and so we continued to talk about how God knows their thoughts and knows their worries.  He also has blessed them with a special friendship and even in they aren't in the same classroom their friendship can continue to grow.  We also talked about how he may want them to grow in new ways and meet new friends this year too!  What a special way to end the day with my birthday girl and her friends.  She is growing up way too fast but I am getting glimpses of the sweetness of this new stage we are moving in to! 

            It seems like it was yesterday that we were anxiously anticipating her arrival and when she arrived it was love at first sight. She gave us the gift of being parents for the first time and has paved the way for her siblings. On one hand I am sad that time is flying and my baby is growing up and on the other hand I love seeing her grow into a beautiful girl on the inside and out. I am so proud of the girl she is becoming and the drive she has in life. She is an amazing big sister and embraces being the oldest with every ounce of her. It has been so much fun to sit down and have "big girl" conversations with her and see her heart for Jesus grow this year. I can't wait to see the way she grows and blossoms this next year!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

13 Years Ago ....

Thirteen years ago ..... I said "I Do!" I had no idea what kind of wild ride we would go on in life. I will say it has been full of ups and downs. There have been joys and sorrows. There have been days that loving each other is easy and others when it is a choice. There have been hard circumstances that we have walked through and yet we have grown and are stronger because of it. We have experienced an abundance of God's blessings in our marriage and our family. We have grown closer as a couple and have continued to work to build a firm foundation on Christ. We have been blessed with 4 little blessings and are waiting to bring our 5th home from China. Thirteen years of life lived with my best friend. I have a lot to celebrate today!
  eric and I

There is no one I would rather be on this journey of life with than him! Happy Thirteenth Anniversary Eric! I can't wait to see what the next year holds on this wild ride!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Picking

One lazy summer evening I decided to google "strawberry patches." I wondered if there was one in the area. I thought it would be fun to take the kids strawberry picking. Wouldn't you know there was a new strawberry patch just 20 minutes from our house and they were open for picking.
  Max 1968 -blog

The kids had never been strawberry picking before. This picture pretty sums up how Max felt about his first trip to the strawberry patch. The other kids echoed Max's sentiments toward the strawberry patch. They thought it was so much fun, where grinning from ear to ear on the tractor ride and ate their fair share of fresh red strawberries. I am pretty sure the red fingers, red shirt and red face are a dead give away ... Max loved strawberry picking.

Emma - 1968-blog

Emma went right to work eager to fill her bucket. 

Max - eating strawberries -blog

Max also went right to work ... but instead decided to eat each strawberry he picked. 

Shane and Max - blog

Max watched over Shane's shoulder to see how it is all done !

Max close up eating -blog

He too the cue that all those red strawberries were fare game.

 Alexa - blog

The girls worked hard but also ate their fair share of berries.

picking-clean edit and add ons-blog

The girls were trying to show Max how it is done.  It looks like they couldn't resist those bright red strawberries either.


Every time we turned around Max had a strawberry in or near his mouth. The farmer who owns the field told the kids they were safe to eat and they could each as much a they want but had to stop when they reached their body weight.

girls -1968-blog

The girls went right to work and were more than excited to fill their buckets.


Shane decided to take a little break and wait for the tractor. 

Emma -cropped - blog

Emma was busy trying to get those last minute strawberries in the bucket before it was time to head back. 

tractor - blog

 The kids loved hoping on the tractor for a ride out to the patch and back to the van.
  berries -blog

We had a couple yummy buckets of strawberries to take home.
  Max crying - blog

This picture pretty sums of how Max felt about having to get off the tractor and leaving the strawberry patch behind.

Ni Hao Yall

I am linking up to Stephanie's Sunday Snapshots this week. As I fall more and more in love with hobby of photography I love taking in others work especially when they share their work so generously. Head on over to Stephanie's blog to see some amazing photographs. I used a Canon 60D camera, my 50 mm lens at various settings and a little bit of Florabella 1968.
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