Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day, 2014

What a great Memorial Day weekend!! 
I {heart} l-o-n-g weekends! And short work/school weeks are the absolute BEST!!!
We had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed LOTS of time with family and friends.
Monday morning, we hit the Y for a workout, and then headed outside to enjoy some of the Memorial Day festivities they had going on.

 Our ALL TIME favorite (ex) Panther player (he just signed with the Ravens), Steve Smith, was there greeting fans and signing autographs. My boys were so... excited to meet #89!
And to be honest...I was a little star struck too;)
That afternoon, we headed over to my parents house for a family cookout and pool party!
We had a blast and enjoyed our time together!
Like so many others, we celebrated this day with a backyard bar-b-que and pool time,
 but our thoughts and prayers were with the brave ones who have sacrificed so much or even given their lives for this great nation.
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself!"
-Joseph Campbell
"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened!" 
-Billy Graham 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday FUNday

 We had such a fun filled Sunday!
 First it was off to church where Shane taught "large group time" to the first through fifth graders and I lead the music for the first and second graders.
 After church, we came home for a quick bite to eat before hitting up the POOL!
The water was a bit chilly, but that didn't stop the kids from having a blast splashing around with friends. 
We just recently got a new ice cream maker and couldn't wait to try it out. 
 We took it down to the pool with us and by the time the kids were ready for a snack, we had homemade vanilla ice cream waiting for us.
It was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!
 After the pool, we headed to our friends house to enjoyed dinner and a movie together.
And of course, we couldn't call it a FUN night unless it involved a little dress up too;)
LOVE my two silly girls!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Our Camping Adventure

We decided that it would be fun to kick off Memorial Day weekend with a camping trip. We camped out this same time last year in my parents backyard, but this was going to be the kids first "official" camping experience. They were beyond excited, and several weeks ago they started counting down the days until our trip. They couldn't wait to pack up their gear and hit the road.
So Friday afternoon, after the big boys got home from school, we loaded up the mini van and headed for the hills. 
For our first camp out, we decided to keep it close and not venture too far from home. The park we went too was only about 45 minutes away from our house. 
And to make things even easier on us, this particular park offered "rent a tent" camp sites. These sites included your tent, an electricity hook-up, and running water. Oh, and we got a site not too far away from the bath house! With five kids in tow, that was by far the biggest perk;)
Once we arrived, the kids had fun exploring and helping us set up camp. 
After we settled in, and got a fire started, we were ALL ready to eat!
The kids had fun roasting hot dogs in the fire for dinner.
After supper, we decided it was the perfect time to go fishing. Hudson got a new fishing pole and he was dying to try it out. 
It was such a gorgeous night, and the Lord painted the most BEAUTIFUL sunset for us to enjoy!
It was breathtaking!
Once it got dark, we headed back to our campsite for smores and a little game of flash light tag.
We also enjoyed a fun night around the camp fire before calling it a night. 
The kids must have been flat worn out, because in no time at all, EVERYONE (including Shane and I) were asleep.
 In the morning, Shane broke out his camping stove and whipped us up some fried eggs (and coffee) for breakfast.
We hung out around the camp fire for a while before heading out for a brisk morning hike. 
Shane found a great (2 mile) path which took us down to the lake, through a few creeks, up and down some rough terrain, but eventually we ended up at the nature preserve. 
Every time we hike, the kids impress me more and more with how well they manage. There is little complaining and LOTS of exploring as we walk.  
We all had lots of fun at the nature center and enjoyed observing the wildlife they had on display there.
Before long, it was time to hit the trails once again and make our way back to camp. By the time we got back, it was mid-afternoon and we enjoyed one last picnic lunch together before packing up and checking out.
And of course, our little adventure would not have been complete with out a quick ice cream stop on our way back home.
What a sweet way to end a super sweet weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Our Little Graduate

So today my precious Sophie girl graduated from preschool. 
It was such a bittersweet day for me though. 
This year has been the BEST one ever. I have no complaints except that it simply went by too fast. 
Sophie has LOVED every single day of preschool and I am just so sad to see it come to an end. 
Her teachers were the absolute sweetest, and the friends she made this year were amazing. 
 I CANNOT believe that she will enter Kindergarten in the fall. KINDERGARTEN!!! 
Wasn't it just yesterday that I first laid eyes on this teeny tiny, beautiful, blue-eyed, blond hair baby girl!?!? 
And now here we are getting ready to enter a new chapter in life. I seriously cannot believe that we are just one summer away from kindergarten!! Just the thought alone makes me teary eyed!! 
This morning we went to Sophie's school for her end of the year program. was it PRECIOUS!!! And my big girl was asked to recite a special Bible verse during the performance.
 Of course, she ROCKED it!!!!
My parents, 
 and sweet friend, Charlotte, all came to see her graduate!
Sophie was surrounded by so many people who love her and the day could not have been better.
Congratulations to my precious rising kindergartner! 
We are SO VERY PROUD of you!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's "Crazy Day"

This girl doesn't usually need ANY encouragement at all to be "wacky"!!
However, this is theme week at Sophie's preschool, and today was "CRAZY DAY"!
My girl was soooooo excited and couldn't wait to dress the part.
 She's most definitely silly, she's absolutely kooky, but I love her like... 

Happy "Crazy" Day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday Dinner

 Sunday's are one of the busiest days of the week for our family. It's off to church first thing in the morning, and we usually don't return home until after 1pm. 
On days like this, a crock pot meal is an ABSOLUTE must for this hungry crew, as we all come in through the door starving and ready to eat!!
And if you asked any of my kids, they would say that my Aunt Sherri's "Cheesy Chicken' is their all time favorite Sunday dinner.
This is definitely one of those meals that makes its appearance on our table more often than not.
This crock pot chicken recipe is so easy, made with cream of chicken soup and cheese soup, along with seasonings and chicken breasts.


  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves, without skin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup


Rinse chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix undiluted soup and pour over chicken in a Crock Pot. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Saturday Snapshots

 Weekends are the BEST!!! Especially the kind when you don't have much planned and can just spend the day having fun with family. THOSE kind of weekends are rare, but when they do come around...we try to soak up EVERY MINUTE! 

Here's just a little peak at how our Saturday went down...
I know I'm a weird breed, but for me Saturday mornings are not for sleeping in. No, I'd much rather get up early and go for a long run with my girlfriends.
When I got home the house was still quiet.  But it wasn't long before these two turkeys were up and wanted to help me make breakfast. 
Chocolate Chip Pancakes were on the menu!
 After breakfast...we all loaded up and headed to the Y.
Shane and I really enjoy working out together on Saturday mornings. The kids have fun playing with their friends, and we get a mini date out of the deal;)
 After our workout, we got donuts;) Why not, right?!?!
And Daddy added freshly picked dandelions to Sophie's french braid;)
 It was such a GORGOUS day outside that after donuts we decided to go for a bike ride. 
We ended up biking up to the boys school and playing on the playground for a while.
 That afternoon, we met Corban's soccer team at the park for an end of season party.
 The littles had fun running around being silly while the big boys played their dads in a friendly BOYS vs. MEN soccer game.
After the game, the coach handed out both silly and sincere awards to each one of the players on the team.  Corban received the award for being the leading scorer this season (22 goals in all) AND the "axe gel" award because he always looked good doing it;) 
Yup, that's my boy;)