April Fun


Today was super rainy, so I was just reflecting on some recent fun in the sun.  DSC02916 DSC02917 DSC02854 DSC02918 DSC02922


Maddie’s Mad Hatter Tea Party

Yesterday, Madelyn had some friends over for a Mad Hatter Tea Party.  One of her favorite movies is the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland.  She thought it would be fun to have a tea party to celebrate turning 12, her birthday is tomorrow- April 7th.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  She helped decorate in the morning and the girls came at 10am.  It was such a sweet time.  Here are a few pictures:




DSC02766Kalen wanted to add to the decorations and sketched this Alice picture.






We staged a photo booth session:





Fall Beach Trip

Each October, for several years now, we meet up with our friends at the beach for an extended weekend.  This has come to be something we really look forward to and count on each year.  It is a refreshing time that we just get to stop our real lives here and enter a dreamworld of sorts.

This year we had 15 of us, 3 families; 6 adults and 9 kids.  We cooked and ate together with our friends, never going out, except for groceries of course.  We played and played again.  We talked, laughed, and played games.  We enjoyed the ocean, sand and sun.  The weather was gorgeous!

Here are several of my favorite photos from our trip.


boysAlder, Kalen, Brayden and Heath


eatingEveryone cleaned up for dinner time.  Lesley and Jason had prepared all the fixings for burritos.

DSC01466Kalen, Brayden, Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen

DSC01457Daniel, Katie and Jen


DSC01548Madelyn, Arianna, Julian and Ellen



DSC01491Me and Katie playing in the sand.


DSC01561Me and Scott

DSC01594Brayden and Heath

DSC01523Scott was kicking around the soccer ball with the kids.


DSC01498Katie and Julian


DSC01486Katie and Daniel

DSC01533Kids playing dollar ball with Scott.  He throws it super high and whoever catches it gets a dollar.  After awhile it became more like chocolate chip ball.

group shotAll of us.

DSC01658The girls;  Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen.

IMG_6978Anna, Scott, Jason, Lesley, Daniel and Jen

IMG_7017All the kids

DSC01669Scott and I just before leaving our little dream weekend.


We Meet Again

Last week we met our friends the Kruideniers and the Bullucks at Emerald Isle, NC.  We had a fabulous time and somehow ended up with the most perfect October beach weather possible.  This is our third year meeting these friends at the beach in the fall.  I feel like each year gets better and better.  Previous trip photos here and here.  We did miss our other friends from Virginia, the Aardemas, this time.  Is it too early to plan for the next one, friends?  Here are some photos from our five days together.

Julian, Brady, Madelyn, Arianna, Ellen, Alder and Kalen

Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen

Kids playing soccer

Guys playing some music

Jason & Lesley playing Blink

All 8 kids (Katie was napping).  Maddie, Arianna, Kalen, Julian, Alder, Ellen, Brady, and Heath

Jen, Daniel, Arianna & Ellen

Sweet baby Katie

The kids were always playing or doing something.  I caught them playing Clue in this photo.

Jason, Heath, Lesley, & Alder

**Special thanks to our Morrison family for caring for our little Jasper while we were away.  🙂

Hunting Island 2012

Last week this time we were on the beach at Hunting Island, SC.  This is an annual getaway we take with our friends, Jen, Daniel, Ellen and Arianna.  This year we met with another family of seven also.  I don’t have pictures of our entire gang together, but here are several pictures taken during our time there.  Our foster kids spent time with our friends, the Harveys, which allowed our family of six to have some quality time camping together with friends.  We had such a wonderful time!

Maddie, Brady, JJ, Kalen, Ellen and Arianna

We were fortunate to have some really warm temperatures.  The kids and Daniel took to the water without hesitation.

Scott fixing Kalen oatmeal, a camping family favorite.

It goes without saying that the landscape was breathtaking.

Scott and Daniel taking in a game of chess.

We take UNO everywhere, our campsite was no exception.

Ellen and Madelyn, best buds.

One area of the Hunting Island beach is lined with fallen trees.  It is like one big playground for the kids (and me too).

This is the path we hiked to the lighthouse.

Our family of six!

Daniel and Jen (and one on the way due in May)

We stumbled upon a haven for fiddler crabs just up from our campground on the beach.  We enjoyed scoping them out, watching them scurry about.

Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen

The weather was interesting this go around.  We had sunshine, rain and high winds.  🙂

Anna and Scott

Elijah and Julian.  Elijah is the oldest of five kids.  These boys had a blast together.

Daniel brought vegan pancake mix to share with all of us.  What a treat!

Still There

We met again.  There had been more time that had passed this time.  Instead of 6 months, it had been about a year.  We have been busy living our lives, a pregnancy even came and went and we were able to pick back up right where we left off.  My long time friends, Torie, Laurie and Gari Leigh, and I met in Winston-Salem for a day of giggles, heart-filled talks, good food and drinks and, of course, shopping.

It is a rare gift, I know, to have these friends that I have been able to hold on to for well over twenty years.  I love you, girls.  May our friendship continue to last the test of time.  May we one day sit together with big floppy hats, when we are old and gray, on a beach somewhere laughing at ourselves and life.

Gari Leigh, Torie, and Laurie