Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Turkey Run State Park





the cabin where we stayed



I love these stairs hidden in the rocks, like it's leading you into a magical world



The wind rushed over and over this landscape, where we were one of the only ones out hiking. With the quiet, it felt like you could hear the wind coming for miles.









I feel like these dead leaves make the trees look like a fairly land


I had to wash out the photo so you could see Delaney's cute face, through a tree trunk






Don't fall into the social media trap. Nobody's kids are smiling all the time, and nobody has perfect family vacations. Everybody gets tired. Everybody cries. Kind of like this hike. I didn't have my camera out when we got lost and we had to turn around, or when Ephraim insisted on being carried the entire hike, or when I forgot diapers and Ben had to drive 40 minutes to go get some.  

What's captured in pictures may not be the whole story, but you get to decide if gratitude is a daily part of your life. Will you be one who seeks for the good? Will you find God in the ins and outs of your day, even if it starts out only in retrospect?

Here's where I saw God on our short family vacation, things to be grateful for:
-I love hiking, being out in nature and being so connected to God.
-Delaney was such a good little hiker! She's only 3 1/2 but she never complained and always kept up the pace.
-I love spending time with my family disconnected from our daily chores and the daily grind of life.
-I love planning things for my kids to look forward to. The girls had a spring break from preschool, and all week they couldn't wait to go to this cabin and be together as a family.
-I love going to a place where I can let my kids run to their hearts content. I think all kids need freedom like that once in a while.
-I love being in a place where you can't see "civilization" for miles
-Lastly, I love feeling united as a family, which comes when you all do something together, like this hike.

I'm so grateful I have my family forever!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth

Whenever a new baby is about to arrive (I've got 6 weeks left!) , I'm reminded how happy and comfortable our life is in it's current state. I love the stage our family is in right now. We've got three cute little personalities. Cheyenne at 5, is a bundle of questions and wants to know everything about the world. She's obedient and kind, imaginative and willing to be a good example to her siblings. Delaney, at "free and a half" is so funny. She's constantly saying things that make us laugh out loud, yet is also starting to show signs that she knows how to listen and is starting to recognize the spiritual side of life. Ephraim at 2, can cause mischief, but to me is still my sweet little boy that fills my life with sunshine. I felt like I had such a hard time having them close together, and Cheyenne and Delaney were such hard toddlers, I never thought I would come out of it. I never thought I'd say, "I don't want them to grow up," but I don't want them to! Let them be little! Home can be a heaven on Earth!

Ben built the kids little chairs (and coming soon, a table). He even made 4 so our baby can have one too!
I have to include all of the pictures because their expressions are just priceless







Easter

Ephraim and his cousin Bentley (4 months younger) when we stayed with Ben's brother Sam's family over Easter. One night we had them in matching pajamas. So cute!


These girls had such a fun time finding lollipops from the Easter bunny when they planted jelly beans. They love Aunt Michelle's house. They always say, "This was the best day ever!!" whenever we leave.

They love their cousin Jaylin, who is so sweet with them.


We bought the girls bunk beds, which they were SO excited about. For some reason, before I had kids, I always imagined coming into my kids' rooms and tidying their beds while they were at school. The girls were at preschool when I snapped these photos, and my little helper was following me around. It's quite the feeling to see a dream realized, no matter how "ordinary" that dream may be!



This guy is my little buddy while the girls are at preschool on Monday and Wednesday mornings. He's such a polite little guy and loves to just play by me wherever I happen to be.






These three are great friends and Cheyenne is always coming up with things for them to do.



Sadly naps don't happen over here anymore, so when both of them fell asleep I had to document it for their dad.

Ben wanted to document his beard so here's a picture we took with the webcam on this computer. He recently shaved it, but will most likely grow it back. He loves his beard, as do the kids. I don't mind it (but it's a little too full for my liking, in this picture!).


We finally broke down and bought a minivan because we literally outgrew our Camry (with our baby on the way!). Although we seriously considered this option!

Wearing Wranglers and hanging out with Daddy in the shop!