Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fourth of July!

We got home yesterday from the Wilds and went right into celebrating our amazing country! We enjoyed dinner with friends and then fireworks!

The snakes were fun to watch!
The kids loved watching the fireworks!
So much fun!
Ready to watch the BIG fireworks!
I love my crazy and silly Gabey!
Job and Mark were both pretty exhausted, but were still happy to hang out with our friends!
Brothers!
Mj helping Zoe with her glow sticks.
Gabe was saying, "I can't believe this! This is awesome!" LOL
Love me some fireworks!
Job wasn't too happy with the loud bangs. He would hide under the blanket and then look out to see the fireworks for a little bit.
I'm so thankful for America! What a privilege to live in this great country!

June Happenings

Here's a quick summary of what our June has looked like. It's been busy...

The kids love to have a fun activity surprise each day. One day I got dish soap, water, and bowls out. 
While Mark went on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic, we had our very own exciting stay-cation - Just mommy and the kiddos.
We explored the Everglades.
The kids found lots of grasshoppers.  I love how Job is getting as close as he can without the grasshopper jumping on him!
Of course, we saw lots of gators.
Our Everglades selfie.
We also visited the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.
I think one of our favorite trips was to the Science Museum in Fort Lauderdale.
The kids loved making clouds.
And the hurricane winds was a blast!
Gabe liked learning about the digestive system.
Our science museum selfie.
We traveled to Key West for a day to visit the aquarium there. They loved petting the sting rays and feeding them.
Gabe wanted to get as close to the sharks as he could. He loved watching them get fed.
Crazy kids!
The touch tank was a favorite, too.
I love Job's face in this pic!
We spent a morning swimming at the Mortensen's pool.
And, or course, we went to the beach for a morning.
Perfection!
There has been a lot of reading going on this past month.
A day at the water park with friends is great summer fun!
The kids just watched the Box Trolls and had to make their own boxes so they could be box trolls.
We celebrated Father's Day! My kids have the best daddy!
Jadyn had fun at her friends princess party.
They got their nails, hair, and make up done.  She's absolutely beautiful!
Job got hand, foot and mouth disease and was not very happy about it.
And we just got back from a fun trip taking our youth group and JBCers to the Wilds in North Carolina.  Here's our JBC crew!
JBC on the rock wall!
Mark and I had so much fun getting to know our friend Jocy better.  She came as a sponsor, too and got to surprise her twin brother Javi who is working at the Wilds.
Javi and Mark playing an intense game of Ping-Pong.
We met up with our JBCers on Thursday to make sure they were ok and see what they were learning.  MJ surprised me with my favorite candy bar. Jack saw me taking a selfie and had to get in, too! =)
Our JBC kiddos!
Our teens at Family Reunion.
Mj's cabin.  The coolest part was that he got to room with his friend from PA who was at camp the same week! I'm so glad they got to be together!
Mj playing one of the games at the Wilds!
So it's been a great, busy month!  Time to get back into the school routine as we start tomorrow. I'm ready for some more normal schedule! =)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday Jadyn!

I cannot believe Jadyn is 7 years old today! Time flies and it's exciting and sad all at the same time.  Jadyn is our answer to prayer.  We prayed for 5 years for a baby. I still remember seeing that positive pregnancy test and falling to the ground shaking and overwhelmed at God's miracle in my life.
Jadyn is quite the personality. From her labor until now she's a stubborn little spit fire, but she is learning how to use that stubbornness for God. She is one of the most creative people I know. I've learned that if she can't get a concept in her learning if we turn it into an art project she'll learn it.  She loves bright colors and making a mess in her artistic endeavors. She is a mother-hen to her little brothers and any friends that are younger than her. She has a lot of love in her heart to share with those around her. You can't meet her and not fall in love with her. Seriously, it's impossible! =)
Last night as I was tucking her into bed, I talked with her about the answer to prayer she was in my life and her dad's life. It brought tears to my eyes as I talked to her about the many tears I shed, asking God to give me another baby and then seeing that answer to prayer in her. I told her the struggles I had during that time and that sometimes I would doubt that God could even do the impossible, but God is a God of the impossible and she is a reminder to me every day of God's grace.  I went over again with her the importance of her name. Jadyn means "Jehovah has heard" and her middle name is Grace because it is only by God's grace that He allowed us to have our precious princess.
Happy 7th Birthday Jadyn Grace. We love you more than you can imagine! We pray that you will continue to allow God to use you and that you will grow in your relationship with Jesus more this year. He loves you even more than your mommy and daddy do!

Every year I take a picture of Jadyn in my wedding dress.  It's a fun tradition that we both look forward to.
Today, we had a fun mommy/daughter date to go get her ears pierced! She was so brave - didn't even shed a tear! I told her I have been looking forward to this day since she was born. I have a great memory of my mom taking me to get my ears pierced and now I was able to share that fun experience with my little girl!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Vacation to Bonita Springs & Naples

Last week we were able to get away and take a vacation to Bonita Springs and Naples.  It's so beautiful on the west coast of Florida and it's a nice change from the city life of Miami. We had a relaxing time enjoying the beach and just being a family together without any interruptions. Here's some pics from our week.

Monday: We went down to Naples and enjoyed one of our favorite beach spots.

Seriously, even though we live close to the beach we just can't get enough of the beach! We all love it!
Job getting ready to dig for some buried treasure in the sand.
My little fish Jadyn, took a break from swimming to dig in the sand.
Mark and Mj had a blast throwing their wave ball back and forth.
Taking a pic of our beach hair.
Learning never stops, and even on vacation we were discovering cool sea creatures that God created. The nine-armed sea star was so cool and we found a lot of them every day! We've never seen them before so it was exciting to discover them. We got to see some that had regenerating arms.
Jadyn loved catching the sea stars.
Even Job held one.
Mj found a cool conch shell.
See that rain in the background, well it moved faster than what we thought and we ended up drenched as we ran for the car. 
Tuesday - We went to Wiggins Beach in Bonita Springs.

We got to see this turtle enjoying a snack on the side of the road.
Picture perfect
In the afternoon the waves got bigger and the kids had a blast!
We enjoyed dinner at Chick-fil-a and it was Kids' Day so Jadyn got her face painted as Wonder Woman. She lost a tooth the evening before. Seriously, I think she needs dentures. =)
Gabe was excited about his snake painting.
We went down to the pier in Naples.  The sunset was beautiful with a storm n the background.
Rain, Lightning and Thunder in the distance.
Looking for dolphins.
We found one.
This guy was showing off for everyone.
A pretty good family pic on the Naples' Pier.
We ended the evening at Rita's.
I love Rita's. We only get it when we go to Naples since they don't have them in Miami.
 
Wednesday - We went back to Wiggins beach for the day.
 
My book worm enjoying the shade of our tent.
Exploring.
Job being his silly, silly self.
Mark found a sand dollar.
My explorers looking for sand dollars and sea slugs.
Big clam shells they found snorkeling.
Surf's Up Dude!
Sand Ball.
I was laughing so hard at this picture.  The kids were trying to sit on their boogie boards, but the boards would fly out from under them. I caught this shot at a funny spot.
I love watching them enjoy the beach.
We went to a nice park before dinner.
This park was a lot of fun.
Cool drinking fountain.
Scooters, Fountain, Red Cheeks - Fun at the park.
Dinner and dessert at Sweet Tomatoes.
Thursday - We found a cool water park that we all enjoyed!
Mj trying to make it the whole way across.
Gabe & Job loved this water slide.
Silly brothers.
His face says it all! They had so much fun!
Friday - Before we left to head back to Miami, we went to a park to let the kids get some energy off before the car ride home.
Job loved this digging area.
Gabe climbing the rocks.
The nature trail was cool.
Enjoying a walk.
We had a fun vacation. So thankful for our time together.
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