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Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy 11th birthday to our happiest of girls!

Happy Birthday, #3!!!
You are a delight to our family! Always full of joy and love for are the starter of many of our adventures. You are so very creative and fun which is part of what makes you a great friend. You cherish your friendships and have chosen really wonderful ones.
 You have your own wonderful talent which is playing the piano. Your teachers have all been impressed with how much you practice and how quickly you're progressing. We love hearing you play and we especially enjoy the way the piano gives YOU your THING that brings you success and joy! 
You are our deep thinker and question asker which makes these years of growing up super fun and keeps us on our toes. We notice your spiritual life growing on it's own in the little things you're dealing with in life. God has great plans for you, #3. We are so glad we're on this journey with you and we can't wait to see what He has in store for you! 

You find the fun in everything and encourage us all to step outside our comfort zone a bit! 

Your siblings are your best friends and you are so good at having fun and making memories with them!

This isn't a great shot but it captures you 'lead the pack' oftentimes and the rest of us can't wait to catch up to you to see what you're up too and join you in the fun you always seem to be having.

You are cautious, but always ready to face a challenge and push through the tough times. We appreciate it when you use your strong will to do GREAT things!

You love nature and notice God's beauty all around us! You want to be in the midst of it all- never missing a thing. 

When we're with you you make us smile about the simple things in life.

You teach us how to love like Christ every day. God gave you a BIG heart and love for others that is tangible!

You love animals and are thinking maybe when you get older your job will be taking care of animals in some way. 

Two of your favorite with siblings and TREATS! 

You are an American Heritage Girl. You are a faithful member of our troop at church and you cherish the time spent with your best friends who are in the troop as well.

We are so thankful God placed you into our family! We would have missed learning the greatest virtues if you weren't in our life!

Happiest of birthday's to you, sweet girl! Keep smiling! Keep loving unconditionally! And keep using your amazing gifts to serve God and cherish the life He has blessed you with!

We LOVE you so, so, so much!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No place like HOME!

Yes, I'm 'one of those' PROUD to be a TEXAN kinda gals!

  We drove to Texas to visit my side of the family during our Easter break from school. The kids are all old enough to make driving more easy to do and we had 10 days off from school, so it was most economical to make the trip in our own van versus flying. Driving across country has sorta become 'our way' of traveling.  The last few family trips we've taken we've driven (last summer to CO and now to TX). We're sure putting the miles on our big van!

  So, I wanted to 'tell' my faithful readers about out trip and I've decided to do it in pictures.


I remembered to catch a 'moment in time' during our road trip- the view in the back of the van!  Can't see the bigs, but they're back there in the last row.

The kids had a blast on the zip line! 

Will the younger kids were finding Easter eggs, Mr. All boy, found snails and tried to get a reaction out of the girls. See my oldest brother looking on in the background? 

I'm thankful for these moments when my oldest plays with her younger siblings and I catch it on camera!

A picnic and park date with our younger cousins was a lot of fun! 

The girls Easter morning.

The boys! Looking sharp! Love seeing them all dressed up. 

The whole gang ready for the Easter celebrations to begin! 

On our way to mass we saw that the donkey's got out. It's not every day that you see something like this. 

We took a hike down to the Lake. My parents live 100 yards from Lake Grapevine. And there's a beach!

And CAVES! No one was brave enough to go inside one because Mr. Johnson had scared them a bit. I love this picture because it captures my 12 year old sons silly and sorta 'wild at heart' side in the same moment. What is he doing anyway? Howling? 

Carving their names in the rock- it was really 'soft' for rock. 

Of course at the end of our hike we couldn't help but stick our feet in the water. 

#5 is lucky! When we go to TX he gets lots of golf playing in because my dad's best friend and neighbor, Mr. Johnson, is big into golf and has everything #5 needs for playing! 

Even the GOLF CART! #1 got lots of good driving practice in. Her first time 'behind the wheel'.  Only 3 years from now and she'll be learning to drive for REAL! 

It was so fun to watch my oldest brother giving #2 driving lessons. He got his share of practice too! 

We celebrated my dad's 74th birthday with him! It was fun to be present for his big day! 

I couldn't let the time go by without stopping to get pictures of the kids in the bluebonnets (the Texas state flower). AH, #2 is NOT into taking nice pictures these days. 

Our baby is getting so big and more beautiful each day! 

#4- cool soccer chick ; )

#3 is growing up so fast I can't keep up! 

Beautiful one!

One day we went into Dallas to this museum that had a really cool Sherlock Holmes exhibit! We got to search for clue and try to solve the crime. DH said it was the best museum he has ever been too. 

Even the littles got to 'drive around'. The neighbors have the battery powered cars that brought these two many hours of fun and laughter. I now fully understand why 4 and 5 year olds aren't allowed behind the wheel. Talk about distracted! Geesh!

One night we went with our younger cousins to Medieval Times which was so perfect because it was a really cool show and we've been studying Medieval times this year! 

And we got to visit my brother and sister in laws store and see the newly arrived chicks! So cute and so soft. #4 was in heaven! 

We had a great visit to Texas! We are so grateful for the time we got to spend with family while we were there...making memories! On our way back to VA we stopped in Nashville which is about half way. The next day (drive day 2) David and I got to have lunch with friends there. That was a lot of fun and our conversation was a gift! 

Texas will always be special to me and to our family, but VA is home...and it's GOOD to be home sweet home!