Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Saturday at the Ballfields...

Well, baseball season has begun for our crew! This fall the kids decided they all wanted to play ball! We got everyone signed up and after a few weeks of practices it was time for games to begin!
This weekend Jake had an early morning game and he played SO GOOD! I LOVE watching this boy play baseball. He is playing coach pitch again and really seems to love playing the game!
(They won their first game 10-9!)
He actually played two games back to back because a team was short a few players.
He was thrilled they asked him to play and even though it was getting HOT and he was tired, he played another great game! I was so proud of him!
Parker has been waiting for his turn to play ball! He is finally old enough to play and he has loved every minute of it! He was so excited to get out on the field! 
(Every time he looked over at me, he would give me a big 'ol smile!)
He played pitcher, short stop and in the outfield.
Brooklyn didn't want to play at first, but Matt encouraged her to give it a try again (she took a few seasons off). She talked her daddy into being the coach and she has had a great time so far!
She hits the ball pretty good and has a good arm too:)
She's such a good teammate!
 So sweet to see these two playing together on a team!
I love cheering my kiddos on and look forward to watching a great season of FALL BALL!
Go Red Socks!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

School Is Back In Session!

Monday morning our alarms rang early as these two were heading off for their first day of school!
There was lots of excitement in our house as we prepared to begin an AMAZING school year!
We were excited to see old friends and make new ones and we were ready to get plugged back into a school that we absolutely LOVE and are so grateful for!
This favorite girl of mine headed to FIRST GRADE!
Brooklyn has one of my all time favorite teachers! She was SO excited to see Brooklyn on Monday morning. Sis had just a few tears in her eyes, but Mrs. C swooped right in to give her a big hug and welcomed her to the first day of school! 
Brooklyn is SO LUCKY to have Mrs. C as a teacher this year! 
She will learn and grow in so many ways! I can't wait to see it!
And my Jake headed to THIRD GRADE!
My big boy Jake marched right in to his class! Third grade is a big year and I am THRILLED that he is back to learn and grow with some of his best friends and of course his wonderful teacher! I am also excited to see what this year holds for him! It's going to be great!
As much as we love summer, we were ready to get back into the swing of school! This week we have all been working through new routines! We are quickly getting into our groove and are looking forward to a wonderful Christ centered school year!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Open House 2017

Friday night we headed up to school for Open House!
Our family is SO VERY EXCITED that the Lord saw fit for us to return to the school that we were originally a part of. Last year the Lord led us away and we became a part of a new school community never thinking we would be back! It was a bittersweet time for us, but as time went on we committed to make the best of the time the Lord gave us at our new school. However, after a very CrAzY summer with several unknowns for our family, we were finally able to make the last minute decision to return! My heart was SO full walking through those halls! Seeing so many familiar faces made my heart so happy!
Jake will start 3rd grade (the grade I taught there for 3 years)! He was hoping to be in my old classroom, but is right down the hall:)
His teacher is new this year, but we know her a bit already from playing sports with her family. She is returning to the classroom after several years on the mission field. I am hoping she is able to share lots of cool stories with the kids from her time overseas!
Jake already knew several kids in his class and will definitely be a champ in third grade! I am SO excited for what is in store for him this year!
Brooklyn will be in 1st grade this year! She is in for such a fantastic year! We have known her teacher for years and she is such a special person to our family. Jake had her back in 1st grade, so we already know about the sweet year that is ahead! She is one lucky girl to be in this class!
We love being a part of a school that partners with us as we lead our family to Christ!
We are looking forward to a WONDERFUL school year ahead!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Sweet and Soggy Day In Belmont

These last few days of our summer break have been a bit dreary, but we have tried to make the best of it and have as much fun as possible!
Despite some drizzle, we headed up to Belmont the other day to do some exploring and to make a few fun stops!
We definitely wanted to check out this "sweet" place!
Everywhere you turned there was something sweet to see! It was like Willy Wonka's Factory!
I'd have to say Jake's favorite treat is a good ol' piece of bubblegum!
This giant machine was pretty cool to see! The factory actually had to remove the window pane just to get in inside the store!
 This girl loved filling up her bucket with a few treats!
Since we did drive to the Cotton Candy Factory we had to get some to try!
There were actually twenty-five different cotton candy flavors already made, but we wanted to try to make our very own! We chose to make blue raspberry!
We were all going to share our treat, but Parker pretty much ate the entire thing all by himself!
 After we finished up at the Cotton Candy Factory we visited Goat Island Park. I have been wanting to visit this park since it opened and even though it was soggy, we really enjoyed it!
There is a really neat playground that is made up of a bunch of different rope courses!
The kids loved it!
 As we were heading back to the car, Brooklyn spied a special rock. This is a really big thing in our area right now. People paint rocks and hide them around the area for others to find. If you find one, you rehide it for someone else to find!
We took it back with us and will find the perfect spot to put it!

Monday, August 7, 2017

All In a Day At the Lake!

Saturday we spent the day up at the lake with our Sunday School class.
We look forward to lake day each year! The sun, the fun, and of course all of the water activities! We always have such a good time!
We of course did lots of swimming. The water felt SO nice!
Jumping off the dock is always fun!
Or being THROWN high up in the air and into the water is good too!
We all got a turn to take a boat ride!
Emery wasn't so sure about it all at first, but ended up LOVING it!

Jake did a little tubing and was a CHAMP at it! He had a pretty crazy and bumpy ride, but he held on tight and LOVED every minute. This smile did not leave his face!
 I was a little nervous watching him fly on the water, but loved watching him do his water thing!
After our boat ride, the big kids jumped on the kayaks!
They did awesome!
(After doing two years of Kayak Camp, Jake knew just what to do!)
We finished up our day with a giant cookout and then more swimming. 
We had to drag the kids out of the water at the end of the day! Everyone was having so much fun!
Any day at the lake is a good day!
Thankful for such a sweet community to enjoy life with!

Monday, July 31, 2017

More Summer...

Our summer days are dwindling away fast. Our minds are definitely gearing up for back to school (more on that later), but we've been having fun and making the most of the time we have left!
Here's a little of what we have been up to...
Of course we have spent time up at the pool...

Brooklyn and Parker went to camp for a few days before we left for the beach. They were first time campers and absolutely LOVED it!
And Jake enjoyed a few days of log rolling camp with his buddies...
(He LOVED log rolling camp! Who knew log rolling was so fun!?!)
Matt took the big kids to the Knights game! He gets tickets through work every once in a while.
They ended up going on a beautiful evening and really enjoyed their time at the game!
I took the kids to the Greensboro Science Center one day too!
They were celebrating Shark Week, so they had lots of cool activities for us to do!
We all had our favorite exhibits, but touching the stingrays was super cool!
This was our first visit and we had such a great time! It was a FULL day of fun and the perfect day trip for us!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Baby News!

 We are thrilled to finally be able to share our secret!
We are expecting BABY #5 at the beginning of February!
We are so excited to grow our family!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Summer Week at Surfside Beach 2017

We just got back from our annual family vacation to Surfside Beach!
This was our 28th year making memories at this beach! I can't imagine a summer without a visit!
(This year we were lucky enough to see a huge rainbow over the entire ocean! It was gorgeous!) 
Every year is much of the same...sun, sand, swimming and lots and lots of smiles! That's what makes it so great! We have lots of sweet and simple traditions that were started years and years ago and we love experiencing them every summer!
Here's just a bit of what our week looked like...
Jake loves the beach! I love watching him just doing his beach thing!
He got a new boogie board last summer and couldn't wait to pull it out again. 
He rode so many waves that by the end of the week Matt had to duct tape it together to get him through!
He also tried a little skim boarding. This is still super tricky for him, but I LOVE watching him try!
And my dad brought his metal detector again this year, so Jake spent some time one afternoon treasure hunting up and down the beach!
Brooklyn is a beach bum too! She played hard all week and was completely worn out by the end!
Her eyes were red and her cheeks were sun kissed!
She spent some of her beach time playing in the sand...
but really LOVED the ocean this year!
She spent hours in the ocean each day and had fun boogie boarding too!
 I have to say though, her most favorite part of vacation is just playing with her cousins!
She loves to be with them and they all just have the best time together! So glad they are not only cousins, but the very best of friends!
Parker played hard all day long and slept hard each night! He was also worn out by the end of the week from all of his beach fun!
He got a gift card for his birthday that he had been saving so that he could buy a boogie board for the beach this year! He couldn't wait to try that thing out! 
(Love that big grin!)
Parker definitely wanted to keep up with the big boys!
I really had to watch him out in the ocean! He wanted to go as far out as he could to catch the biggest wave out there! Once he would ride one into shore, he would run back out for more!
When he wasn't in the ocean, he had fun digging in the sand. My brother Steve would dig a DEEP hole for the kids to jump and play in and Parker would hide out in there and play for a good long time!
Parker also loved hunting for shark teeth! He found a couple this year and thought that was so cool!
I have to say though he always loves to catch minnows! 
That's probably his most favorite beach activity! 
The boys love to see how many minnows can be caught during the day!
My sweet Emery did such a great job this week! She was so sweet each day on the beach! We only took her in one afternoon for a nap! She was a beach champ!
She loved to splash in the ocean, find angel wings with Al, and play in the deep hole!
Her fun sandy shoes...
The best thing though was watching this girl boogie board!
After watching the big kids for several days, she decided that it was her turn to ride! She took her board out and after a few tries she turned into the boogie board queen! She just kept going back for more and more!
She honestly couldn't get enough!
She did not want my help and kept telling me to move so that she could get ready for the waves!
I think she's a beach bum like the rest of us!
We usually get to the beach each morning around nine and stay out until supper time! It's an all day event for our crew! Everyone can enjoy the ocean, the shady umbrellas, or pool as much as they want!
My kids love the pool just as much as they love the ocean!

They are such good swimmers and got even better throughout the week...especially Emery!

There is always plenty to keep everyone busy throughout the day! Because there are so many of us, there is always someone around to play with!

And there is always a good game of cornhole, spike ball, or bocce ball going on...
Of course we took a few silly photos!
Our bucket picture...
And this is a favorite...
After a FULL day on the beach, everyone is content to just stay close to the condo each night.
We only make one exception when we head to the Yum Yum Shop for ice cream...
and to the pier to shark watch...
(We saw LOTS of sharks this year! Yikes!)
It's such a wonderful week and a very special summer stop for us! The memories made and the time spent with each other are true treasures for sure!