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I think there's something wrong with me. I had the opportunity to go to Busch Gardens for free on Thursday for the last 'fun day' of the missions week, but I stayed home and did yard work literally all day long. And that was just weeding and I didn't even finish. I guess I shouldn't feel too badly about not wanting to go to Busch Gardens - 4 of the 6 of us didn't want to go so I wasn't the only one. Nicole and Nicholas represented us just fine. :-) So that was Thursday. Yesterday (Friday) the kids and I mowed the lawn and Tim edged. And today we need to trim the hedges and the ficus trees and weed whack, and I really want to lay down mulch to hopefully curb all the weeding I do. I am really missing living in the RV right now! Even the rental house we were in for almost 2 years afforded us so much more time in our lives due to not having all the yard work and house maintenance! When the kids are gone I'm thinking I will need to hire a lawn service - or maybe we'll sell the house and go back on the road in an RV! The Lord only knows. :-) Well, it's time to end my ramblings and start the day. Hope everyone is having a great weekend, with a lot less yard work than us! :-)
When we last left off, it was mid-June and Father's Day had just past. A few days after that I went down to Port Charlotte to spend the day with my Dad, and we had a great time hanging out and catching up. After spending time together at the house, we grabbed some lunch and went to a park in Punta Gorda on the water - it was SO nice! From there we went to the nursing home that my mom is in and hung out with her for awhile. We went back home and then my sister got home so I was able to spend some time with her before I made the trek back to Riverview.
The next day I met with 2 former IBM colleagues for lunch, and we had the BEST time! I still don't miss working there (and neither do they!), but spending that time with them reminded me of how much I do miss the people. I worked with some of the best of the best, and it was really quite emotional hearing of their ups and downs and highs and lows over the last several years since the last time we got together. Here's a picture of the three of us:
The next week saw Nathan and Nicole taking advantage of an opportunity that came their way to attend Worldview Academy at Clearwater Christian College. Worldview Academy is a 1 week Christian leadership training, and they came home fired up and excited about the prospect of going next year. They were especially challenged in the area of critical thinking, so much so, that we have seen them more discerning of things that have come their way since then. Here are a couple of pictures that were taken of them at the camp that week:
Then this past weekend we had THE BEST time! We drove up to North Carolina on Thursday and arrived at our dear friends, the Hoffman’s house that evening. We were greeted with a great southern meal of lamb stew along with green beans and fried potatoes from their garden. The reunion was sweet and the kids get along great! The next day was July 4th, and they had a company picnic that we were invited to since Tim had done some consulting with their business, and let me tell you, they know how to throw a company picnic!! They rented out this whole quarry with a lake and rock climbing and volleyball and sack races and a huge fireworks display - the kids had a BLAST! Here are a couple of pictures from the event. You've heard of a belly flop or a back flip? Check out Nicholas' back flop! You could hear him smack his back on the water wherever you were - I heard a few people groan in sympathetic pain! :-) He was no worse for the wear, though.
The last time we visited the Hoffman's, Mrs. Hoffman had mentioned that she would really like us all to go on this 17 mile bike ride called the Creeper Trail in Virginia - about 2 1/2 hours from their house. I gotta tell you, the first she talked about it I was really not interested. 17 miles! Are you kidding?! But we arranged to go on July 5th, hurricane notwithstanding, and ended up having the best time and the most gorgeous weather you could imagine! Much like the canoe outposts that take you upstream and let you paddle back to the base, we were driven in a van up a mountain and given bicycles that we rode 17 miles downhill back to the base. It took about 3 hours, and with the exception of Nicole's acrobatic flying episode over her handlebars and scraping her chin and chest, we all made it down virtually unscathed, and everyone absolutely loved it!!
The next day we went to church together and then just spent time together at their house. Noah and their youngest, 3 year old Joseph, hung out at the pool together - they were so cute to watch their interactions! Laura and I picked wild blackberries and subsequently noticed we had a ton of chigger bites between us! Argh! They cooked a feast on the grill for dinner, and then we enjoyed a time of blessings and thankfulness, where we shared things we were thankful for about different members of both families, and then the parents blessed each of the children. It felt very powerful and life giving, and we heard from several of the kids how thankful they were for that time. We've known the Hoffman's for almost 30 years, so to have that kind of history and love for each other is very special indeed - we feel incredibly blessed!
As my mom has always said, all good things must come to and end, so this was no exception. We took off in the morning yesterday and arrived home safe and sound last night. This morning we got up early to go to our church and join the rest of the youth group for the local missions week our church has been doing since Sunday. This morning Tim went with the kids to a local elementary school in a poor section of town to read to the kids and hang out and share the love of Christ with them. This afternoon Tim had to work, so I went with them to the fire stations to hand out food and goodie bags and thank them for serving our county and to pray over them. Tomorrow we go to a local nursing home, and then to the beach. I'll see if I can get some pictures from that time. Hope everyone is doing well! Blessings to all!
What's this? She's updating her blog so soon, within days of her last update? What is wrong with her? I think I realized I wanted to use this almost like a journal to commemorate this time. I had so much fun reading
over the updates of the past years I think it has motivated and inspired me! We'll see how long it lasts, but for now, I'm going with it!
So last week I took Nicole to her eye doctor, and I just have to say, we absolutely adore him! He works at the Walmart Vision center, and is one of the nicest, funniest, and most thorough optomotrists I have ever met. He greeted Nicole in a goofy eyeball suit, so I had to snap a picture:
This past Friday was the premier of How to Train Your Dragon 2 - a family favorite and especially an all time favorite of Nicholas'. We went to the 10:30am matinee, and we all agreed this was a great sequel to the original movie. Nicholas especially loves the music, and I have to say, he has really good taste in my opinion! :-) Here's a shot of us standing in front of one of the movie banners:
So this morning I made Tim a mushroom and cheese omlette to begin Father's day. We all went to church together because they didn't have a youth service today (normally the kids go to that), and enjoyed a great message from Pastor Burnard. We came home, played a game of Yatzee, and then I made lunch for everyone and then got a list together and Nicole and I went shopping. We arrived home just before the rains started (woohoo!) and I made a scrumptous (if I do say so myself!) Salmon and rice dish. And then we engaged in an activity that they did for me on Mother's Day, and I enjoyed it so much I thought we should do it for Tim on Father's Day. It's called positive XYZ's. An XYZ statement is a communication tool used to communicate how we feel in a respectful way. We use it in marriage ministry to help couples communicate their hurts in an effective way, but it can also used to communicate things that we like about another person. An XYZ statement looks like this: When you did X, in situation, Y, I felt Z. For example, one of my XYZ's for Tim was, "When you see things around the house that need to get done and do them (like changing the air filter or folding the clothes or cleaning the kitchen - all just a few of the things he did just yesterday), I feel supported and grateful!" We had a lot of fun just lavishing these words of affirmation on him! I'm thinking we need to make this a family tradition for birthdays and any other events where we are honoring a member of the family! Then it was time for cards and presents, and then Tim and Nathan watched the NBA playoff game and were happy the Spurs won, and the rest of us watched Finding Nemo! :-) Hope everyone has enjoyed this Father's Day, too! Blessings to all!
I can't believe I haven't updated this blog since August of last year - almost a year! I'll try not to bore you with a ton of details, but I do have some pictures I'd like to share, so here we go!
Remember the orange shirts we gave to Tim for his birthday last year because he wanted us to have some family pictures taken with them? (Check out my blog post entitled June Update from last year). We finally had those pictures made just a couple of weeks ago and gave the pictures to him for his birthday this year! My how time flies!
Nicholas started school this past fall at a new charter school, and promptly joined the Cross Country team. Here is a picture of him and a few of his teammates at one of the meets:
He also joined the school band and started playing the trumpet. Here he is on our back wall behind our house with Nicole giving her a trumpet lesson. By the way - that building you see beyond them, is the local library! How convenient is that!
November was a busy month, and it started out on the 1st with one of my very best friends of all times, Hollyhead (she calls me Jodiehead), who invited me to go with her to see Michael Buble' in concert! He puts on quite a show, and we so enjoyed getting that time in together!!
A few days later, Tim and I left to go on a trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!! Woohoo!! We were trying to figure out where we wanted to go to celebrate this milestone, and I had a brainwave, "Let's go back to the place we honeymooned at in the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas!" So that's exactly what we did! The place hadn't changed much, so we enjoyed reliving our honeymoon there! We didn't take many pictures, so here are just a few we snapped:
Our flight back home was delayed by like 5 or 6 hours! It was a little nerve wracking because they were indicating they might not be able to get us out at all until the next day, and we only had childcare through around 2pm that day, so we already had a few hours scheduled with no one to watch the kids before we got home. Now the few hours turned to several hours, but we did finally get out that day and arrived home around 10ish that night and the kids hadn't killed each other and actually had done a fine job of cleaning the place and getting it ready for our return. The only highlight of the delay was that I walked outside the airport to stretch my legs and saw this cute little hummingbird flitting about, and actually was able to snap this picture of it! Pretty amazing, huh? The morning we left the resort we purchased these amazing cinnamon buns instead of the normal souvenirs for the kids (they're teens - food seems to be more important than things these days!) so the next morning after arriving home we heated them up and surprised them with them! Look how happy they were! :-)
The next milestone was the triplet's 16th birthday!!!!! On their birthday, they had a regional Youth In Government function right around the corner from our house. We decided it would be fun to surprise them with sheet cakes for the 100+ students there to commemorate this momentous occasion!
After their YIG event, Tim took the boys to a movie they wanted to go to, and I threw a small sweet sixteen party for Nicole at our house with a few of her girlfriends. I don't know why we have no pictures of any of that, but suffice it to say I think they all enjoyed turning 16 very much!
Finally, in December 2013....drum roll please....the last triplet, Noah, got his driving permit!! That same day Nathan took his driving test and obtained his driver's license and on that same day our car insurance went up 150%! Woohoo! And then 5 days later a lady in a van pulled out in front of Nathan (I was in the passenger seat and saw the whole thing) and he experienced his first accident - thank God it was only a fender bender! I heard our insurance would skyrocket because he had an accident, but it truly wasn't his fault and seems to have not affected our insurance rate since we renewed. (Side note - our car ratings (called ISO Vehicle Car Ratings) went up on both cars so our rates went up a LOT for that reason alone according to our provider - so I called Geico and saved more than 15% and our rates won't go up when we add Nicole & Noah! I should do a commercial for them I'm so ecstatic about that!!)
A few weeks later we celebrated my birthday, and then a week later, we celebrated Jesus' birthday, and a few days after that my sister-in-law and her boys (the cousins!) flew in from Michigan and spent the evening with us on their way to the beach! Here are a few pictures from that time period:
So ends 2013! Now onto January 2014! We spent New Years day at the beach with the cousins and had a blast playing games and sports and just hanging out. Nathan started playing High School basketball with the homeschool basketball team, and January saw them beating every single opponent they faced by no less that 15 points and usually more like 20-30 points a game! I had surgery to remove a benign tumor in my bladder (woohoo!) and Hollyhead brought me some beautiful flowers for my recovery! Towards the end of the month I visited Port Charlotte and took the picture below with my sister, Christy.
The big events for February were Nathan's team winning every game they played (again, by not less than 15 points a game!) and my sister's birthday. Another big event that I don't have pictures for was the triplet's 2nd annual visit to Tallahassee with YIG to present bills and vote on others' bills. Another great experience for them!
March 1st gave us an opportunity to spend time with my father and step-mom who came for a visit (they're from Michigan), and they even came to Nathan's final game of the season, the conference championship game in Clearwater. We won! The next day my parents took us out to eat at a local Greek restaurant - I so wish I had taken some pictures! I had re-established contact with a girl I had
met on a Club Europa trip back when I graduated from college, and she and her
husband happened to be in town that same day from Minnesota, so they stopped by the restaurant and spent some time with us, too! It was a really great time and the food was amazing! A few weeks later we left with Nathan's basketball team to go to a National Homeschool Basketball tournament in Springfield, Missouri! We had such a great time, and the boys ended up 8th out of 32 teams in their division! We were very proud of all of them!
Onto May!! I brought some flowers to my mom the Friday before Mother's Day, and then Tim and the kids gave me a wonderful Mother's Day! We went to church and then hung out together in the afternoon, and then Tim made a scrumptious meal for all of us and they showered me with cards and presents (so sorry I don't have any pictures!). Nicole played on the homeschool girls' soccer team, and I snapped a picture of her and a few of her teammates. And then it was Nicholas' 15th birthday! We went bowling and then to dinner, and then home for cake and ice cream!
Which takes us to this month!! We had such a busy week this past week! We had Nicholas' sports banquet and our homeschool group's kick off jamboree and Nathan's best friend's high school graduation (and that was all in one night!), and then Nicholas' last day of school where I put together gift baskets for all of his teachers, and then Tim's birthday was this past Saturday! Whew! I was so thankful God told us to take a day of rest because it took me until Sunday around 4:30pm after church that morning and a couple of naps that afternoon to finally feel like a human being and not a human doing!
Well, I did it!! It took me all day (with many interruptions) but I did it! Now - maybe I won't take 10 months to do the next update! I'll leave you with a few more pictures from our family portraits:
Sorry for the delay. For any who were wondering after my last update on Monday the 29th what happened, it has been a whirlwind since then! We received a phone call at 11am on Tuesday the 30th that we would be closing at 3:30pm that same day! The last I had heard on Monday was that we may be delayed a week because they thought we might be in a flood zone (we aren't) and would need to get another survey ordered! Argh! So I hadn't really started packing very much. Well in 12 hours with 6 people plus Nicole's friend, Morgan, and her mom (what a life saver!), we packed virtually the whole house in one day! The next morning, on the 31st, Tim went and got a moving truck with his friend, Tom, and with him and Nathan's friend, Josh, and some other friends (brothers), Steven & Daniel, we packed that truck up in a flash. Tim's friend David and his 3 sons came towards the end and helped us finish loading the truck, and then everyone caravaned to our new house to help us unload! We were done by like 6pm that day, and Tim even worked that evening! Our landlord let us wait an extra day to turn in the key so we could go back and clean (so we can get our deposit back!!), so we spent the whole next day cleaning! My friend Marie showed up with lunch and a helping hand, thank God, and a truck because it turns out the odds and ends we left on Wednesday that I thought were just 1 car load were actually a car load plus her truck load! :-)
I have a confession to make. I really didn't want this house. I thought it would be too small. I felt badly for Nicole because she has a to share a bathroom with the boys, and she's always had her own bathroom (well, except for the year we spent in the RV with 1 bathroom!). I can't explain it, but I just couldn't get excited about it. It wasn't that I didn't have a peace about it being the right place for us - I just didn't think I would like it. But now that we are here - I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I had been praying the whole time that if it was not God's will that He would put a block in the way (which is really easy to do these days in this housing market!), and I was very surprised when we actually closed. It just goes to show, God knows what we need WAY better than we do! The first morning we woke up here I had a joy I can't even explain. The next morning was the same thing! And that 2nd morning Tim said he wanted to go around the house with all six of us, room to room, and pray over each room that it would be a blessing to all who entered, etc. It was such a special prayer time for all of us. Very cool!
So a little over a week later brings me today. My mom's 80th birthday! My parents and sister drove up to celebrate (and to see our new digs), and we just had the BEST time together! I'm so grateful for my family! Here are some pictures from the event. The first is of mom skyping with my brother, Dan. The 2nd is of the birthday girl just looking cute . The next pictures are self explanatory (well, with the exception of the cat - yes we obtained a kitten a few weeks ago - isn't she the cutest?!):
There is a verse in the Bible that I have been meditating on all week: Ps 16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
On top of all this, when we sold our house and went on the road 3 years ago, we were on a TV show called Daytime where they interviewed us about the whole experience right before we left. Well just this week, the producer contacted me and said they were wanting to do a follow up segment "where are they now"? with us, so we are scheduled to be on their show on Sept 18th. Well, maybe we'll just be taped then - I don't think they are a live show. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on that!
Thanks to all who prayed for us and have been such a blessing to us. We are eternally grateful. God bless!
It turns out the pictures from our July 4th in Port Charlotte were indeed on Nicole's camera, but she had left her camera at her friend's house. She just recently got it back, so now I can post those pictures from our 4th of July that I promised in my last post! Nicole had fun taking pictures of Nathan and Nicholas goofing around in the pool. First we have Nathan laying back and chilling out, and then Nathan with the t-bow:
We always knew Nicholas was a great kid, but now we know we can walk on water!
And finally, my mom and Tim had fun tossing the football, while Christy & I just enjoyed hanging out together:
And just to prove Noah was there, Nicole captured this rare photo of him:
Last week, the kids were in a local missions camp at our church. They had a fantastic time going to various local missions groups and helping out during the day, and then they had the opportunity in the evenings to do things like bowling, boing jump center, adventure island, and laser tag! It was such a great experience for them, and for me, it was the first time in 15 years I was home alone or only with Tim in our house for that extended a period of time. It felt like I have had a curfew for 15 years that was temporarily lifted! :-) Anyway, it was a great week to be had by all.
HOUSE UPDATE: The only downside to last week was that we never closed on the house - Argh!! Wells Fargo has been dragging their feet and dragging their feet. We have been on and off the phone with them all day, contacting managers, their executive 800 complaint line, etc. We're supposed to be out of our rental here in 2 days, but the Title company doesn't have the closing documents so we can't even be sure when exactly we can close. We were thinking it was definitely going to be Friday, and then we thought today, but it is already 3pm so that thought is slipping away. So hopefully we can close sometime tomorrow, and then move on Wednesday because we need a full day to close. Please be praying for us in this! Will update more soon!
This past week was a birthday party for my 80 year old 2nd cousin in California. She is my my mom's 1st cousin, and one of her best friends growing up. Tim and I and the kids were able to visit her last summer when we were out west for our family vacation, and I just fell in love with her! I had communicated with her sporadically throughout the years, and probably met her when I was much younger, but I felt I was really able to get to know her last year. So when I received the invitation to her party, I was very torn. I wanted to go, but knew it would be expensive. After much prayer and encouragement from 2 of my best girlfriends and Tim, I decided to go, and I'm SO glad I did. I had always wanted to meet her kids (7 of them!), ever since I found out they were on Family Feud probably 20 years ago. They are an awesome family! I saw pictures of my mom when she was a teenager that I had never seen, and old photo's of my grandparents as well! I learned more about my family history than I ever thought I would know, and had just a sense of belonging that truly surprised me. Here is one of the pictures of my mom (on the right) and her cousin, Joanna when they took a trip to Chicago in 1951:
Don't you just love it?? Here's a picture of me and Joanna this past Wednesday:
And then there's the family photo that I was included in (bottom right) taken at Joanna's birthday party. Joanna is towards the middle in the blue and white dress - isn't she pretty? She sure doesn't seem or act 80 years old!
It was such a great experience - I'm SO glad I went! It's been pretty busy since I landed back at Tampa airport on Thursday morning around 7am. We have 11 days until we close on our house, but we still are waiting on the commitment letter from Wells Fargo! Supposedly we will get it tomorrow, so please be praying for that!
Tonight our church had a family night with the movie Wreck It Ralph. So since it was family night we thought, hey, we're a family! We should go! :-) We had a great time, and even took a picture on the red carpet:
I was going to put pictures from our 4th of July time in Port Charlotte, but I don't know where they are! I think they're on Nicole's camera, but it's late and she's asleep, so I will just have to wait and upload them later. Suffice it to say, we had a very lovely visit, as always! Speaking of being late, I'd better hit the hay! Hope y'all had a very blessed weekend!
I just realized I had NO pictures of Tim as well as Noah in my last update, so I thought I'd start out this update with a picture of both of them. On Tim's birthday, he wanted to go to the YMCA as a family and play a new sport he and Nathan have been getting into called pickleball! It's kind of like tennis and ping pong played with a wiffle ball on a basketball court (makes sense to me!) - it really is a lot of fun and a good workout! Check out Tim in action:
That night we went to the Rays game for his birthday and watched them win against the Orioles! A great time was to be had by all! :-)
The week after Tim's birthday my good friend, Dawn, was given a night to stay at a house on the Weekie Wachee river, so we had a girls' weekend (Friday and Saturday) with our daughters. We had access to 2 kayaks and 2 floats, so we tried tying the floats to the back of the kayaks and letting the girls get in the kayaks and try to go up the river with us in the floats. Oh my gosh - I SO wish I could have had a video of it. I haven't laughed that hard in AGES! To make a long story short, we were all paddling our hearts out and literally going nowhere because the current of the river was so strong, but then it took us like another 30 minutes just to make it back to the dock and get out! All the while, people were paddling by us left and right looking at us like we were complete idiots (I felt like saying, "Thanks for the help there, Florence Nightengale"!) Actually, I don't know that I would helped us either - we looked pretty pathetic! :-) Sorry we have no pictures of that, but we do have a couple of pictures we took on the dock later that day:
The next day was Father's Day, and Tim has been saying he wants us to get chartreuse shirts and get pictures made in them. Well, we were able to get some chartreuse shirts for him, and we did a quick demo shot with them on. We also gave him his favorite candy, twizzlers, with origami flowers (that Nicholas taught each of us to make) perched on top of each strand of twizzler and put into a vase to look like a bouquet. It wasn't even anything we saw in a magazine or anything - the idea just kind of evolved as we talked about giving him the twizzlers, and I have to say, it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself! :-)
That brings us pretty much up to date! One more thing I should mention is this cool thing that has happened over the past couple of months regarding marriage ministry for us. We taught marriage classes for years using materials from Intimate Life Ministries that we just loved. We had always wanted to partner with them in some way, but when our church went in a different direction and started using other material for the marriage classes we just put that desire on the back burner. A couple of months ago we found out about Intimate Life holding a pastor's conference in Clearwater beach, and to make a long story short, we were invited to participate in that and subsequent follow up sessions with the pastors and church leaders who attended the conference (I was just on a skype session with several of them tonight). This weekend we are helping out with another training session with these couples, and we are just so excited to see so many doors opening up in this arena! So please be praying that we would be wise to step through the doors we should and close those we shouldn't, but right now, it all seems like a wide open door that we're excited to be going through! Thanks for joining us on our journey and any prayers on our behalf are most appreciated! Blessi
Almost 3 years after selling our house, we are taking the plunge back into home ownership (reference exhibit A to the left here). I have to say, it feels very weird. I have truly enjoyed the freedom of being completely debt free over the past 3 years, not to mention the time saved from not having to fix things and maintain a lawn, etc! But we have a contract on a house, and we still got an awesome interest rate despite everything going up lately. Our closing date is set at 7/25/13, so hopefully that should give us plenty of time to get packed and ready to go! But enough about the future, let's talk about the recent past!
So, let's see how fast I can bring you up to date! In March, Nicholas' flag football team won the championship, so we have a couple of pictures from that day:
A couple days later, the kids thought it would be a good idea to make their own popsicles using juice, cups, and butter knives as their handles. They were actually pretty good!
The next day we left to go on a camping trip for spring break with about 40 other homeschoolers!! That was the last trip in our RV (can we have a moment of silence, please?), and we had an awesome time! We didn't get many pictures, though. Nicole took a few of Nathan chopping wood, which he did a fantastic job of keeping our firewood supply going! And then she took one of Tim and me sitting by the campfire, and that's about all we got! Unfortunately we didn't get any of Nicole and her friend Morgan getting lost kayaking on the river for a couple of hours (thankfully we were able to track them down from a road that was near the river and direct them back!). Here's a couple photos we took:
The campground was about an hour and a half northwest of our house, and on the drive back home we came upon this intersection that makes me cringe every time I see it:
How'd you like to live on that street - Roach's Run?! What were they thinking? Doesn't that just give you the willies thinking about it? "Yeah, I live on a street where roaches have the run of the place!" I don't think I'd even want to live on Pleasant Plains. How do I know if the roaches wouldn't meander over to check out life on the Plains? No thanks!!
But I digress. Our next big event was another teenager in the house getting a driver's permit! Yikes! Here's the picture that is becoming a rite of passage marker in our family:
April didn't have much activity in the photo department in our family. Towards the end of the month, Nathan got a wild hair to go to the beach, so our whole family loaded up and drove to one of our favorite beaches, Fort Desoto, and spent the day. Again, not many pictures were shot that day, but here is one of Nathan & Nicole:
This takes us to May. We started out the month participating in the National Day of Prayer event at Yankee Stadium (their training facility) in Tampa, and a couple days later attending the baptism blow out service at our church with some 450 people taking the plunge! Tim helped out in the dunking, and it was just amazing seeing so many lives changed by the Lord.
Nicholas participated in another sport with the homeschool group (basketball), and his team came in 2nd place of all the teams!
They won that trophy 1 week before Nicholas' 14th birthday - can you believe he's 14? Time is flying! Speaking of flying, Nicole got a picture of Nicholas flying to the basket during his basketball birthday party at the YMCA. She also captured a few more photo ops for the momentous occasion (see below). We even played 4 square where yours truly got in on the action:
A good time was to be had by all! :-) And then a couple weeks later, for Memorial weekend, we travelled up to North Carolina to visit our dear friends who have lived there now for about 8 years. They just bought a farm and moved in a couple weeks before we arrived, so we helped them continue to unpack and get things organized. Below you will find a few pictures from that trip. Nicole and Nicholas chilled out in the back on the drive up. There's a picture of me getting ready to tackle their 3 storage facilities. Then there's a shot of one of their chickens that I think is so cute! Nathan was working hard, but also playing hard (what work day wouldn't be complete without a dunking contest, complete with trampoline to catch more air and hang time?). :-) And finally Nicole with her 'peace out' pose:
Well, I thought I'd be able to take you up through June, but I am wiped out and must go to bed. Stayed tuned for a June update, where you will catch a rare sighting of our 3rd born (camera shy Noah)!
I remember the first time I was introduced the world of blogging with the blog of a friend of mine. I would go and look at her blog and realize she hadn't posted anything since the last time I read it and feel so disappointed. What's the point of having a blog if you don't update it every day!! :-) Now that I have my own, I totally understand - there are MANY reasons I don't post that regularly. Just a couple of those reasons are: 1) our regular schedule seems pretty boring and not 'newsworthy' so to speak. 2) our regular schedule is so packed and affords little time to update! But since it has almost been 2 months since I have updated, I'm sure I can come up with a few things to say.
I do have to say, January just flew by! The 3rd week was significant in that Nicole spent a whole week with her best friend from kindergarten, Morgan, and her family at Rendevous, which is an event where people get together and enact living and dressing as they did in the 1800's. It was a fantastic experience for her, and she's already making plans for next year. Here are a couple of pictures from her time. Check out the washing her hair in a bucket thing! :-)
That same week, our church flew Tim and me out to Dallas for a conference with some others from our church, and I even got to see my brother and sister-in-law while we were there! Very cool! Then a week later, we went down to Port Charlotte where my brother, my aunt, my neice, and her boyfriend were all in town so we had a little mini-reunion. My mom brought the wigs out and we had a blast goofing off with them!
Two weeks later - it was Valentines Day!! I worked 9-1 on Valentine's Day, and Tim worked 1-9, so he planned ahead, avoided the crowds, and took me to lunch the day before at a tea room in our town. We had the BEST time - gold star to him! Here's a picture from our time there.
This leads us up to the present. Three days ago, early Thursday morning, we loaded the triplets up on a bus with a bunch of other teenagers and chaperones, where they drove to Tallahassee and spent that day through yesterday presenting bills, voting in committees, and just experiencing the way government operates. It was such a great opportunity for them! Both Nathan and Nicole's bills made it on the docket, and Noah won an award! Nicole even had the opportunity to present her bill, and Nathan was chosen as a page and loved it! I am so proud of them! Wait until you see these pictures - they look so grown up! I feel like breaking into the song, Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof!
Nicholas has spent the weekend at a church youth retreat, and Tim and I spent Thursday night and all day Friday and Saturday conducting a very powerful marriage intensive, thank you, Lord! So we were all very busy, but doing things we love to do! We will be leaving in a couple of hours to go pick up Nicholas at his retreat, and then tomorrow starts another week. I hope and pray the beginning of your year has been great, and the Lord is blessing and keeping you in Him. Blessings to all!