Thursday, December 13, 2018


Look at that, we're making up some time and already to the end of November! November was easier schedule wise as we wrapped up soccer, but we jumped right into swim lessons which kept us hopping during the day. And before we knew it, we were to Thanksgiving week.

Thanksgiving was honestly a bit hard this year. I was going through some hard stuff that week, we as a family were having to make a big decision, and it's very possible that the kids were feeding off of some of our energy but they were giving us a run for our money too.  

We really had to just take a step back and focus on the important things, like our little family unit and really pressing in and showing love to each other. It was a good time of reflection. Just as our devotion last night reminded us, Christmas lights glow best in the darkness, that is how my reflection of that thankful holiday felt. Even if things were hard for that moment, the important and good things still shone through.

My grandma hosts several big family events at her home every year, and this was the first major holiday since my grandpa passed away in August. It certainly makes you appreciate the moments that our big ole family can still get together.

We've had enough holidays at her home that we went from one big table when I was a little kid to 2-3 big tables going every which way in her house now.  I hope someday my home looks the same was as hers with kids, grandkids, and what seems like a constant influx of great grandkids joining the ranks. 

I feel like Peter's motto reads the same way as Malachi's shirt "I'm just here for the pie"!

And then there's family traditions that have spanned since I can remember as the bingo cards are pulled out as everyone slowly digests their dinner. There is family everywhere, many conversations happening all at once. It's a fun time to catch up with cousins and watch all of our kids play together. 

Yep, there is always so much to be thankful for. It is nice to have a time of reflection over thanksgiving and now as we enter into the excitement of Christmas and the anticipation of a new year with new hopes and dreams! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Halloween Fun

Yeah, I know we are now almost to Christmas and I am just wrapping up our Halloween festivities. But for my own sake, I want to get some of these old memories posted. 

So going way back to October, the kids had a blast at a church trip to the pumpkin patch. We let the big kids go with the church and LB went with her preschool so we didn't have to do the big trip this year :) 

The weather was awesome for all the kids trips to the pumpkin patch which was amazing!

We are still loving the kids cooking boxes, especially the holiday themed ones!

And of course the annual pumpkin carving

We took the carving a little easy on Peter this year but he still did a great job!

And last but not least, the big day itself. The kids were adorable and easy to keep tabs on while trick or treating since they all matched! We love the resurgent of Incredibles as it was a big part of our wedding and if people remember way back to when we were "bringing home baby Dash", so we are certainly partial to our little incredible family!

Monday, December 10, 2018

San Diego Part 2

After a fun filled first two days in San Diego, we were excited to get to spend our day at the zoo!  We got there bright and early and were some of the first people in! I was pretty excited that our first stop was the koalas and they were active and eager for some breakfast which was fun! 

One of the biggest attractions at the zoo is the panda exhibit, they weren't very excited to see us but we got a good little laugh!

The penguin was pretty excited to see Eli and was really disappointed that we had no food for him. 

The Ethiopian section was a particular favorite and I could have watched these entertaining guys all day!

It was a really cool zoo as everyone tells you and I am glad that we were able to spend some time checking it out. Eli loves animals and so the zoo was a perfect place to go and explore with him. He tells me that someday when he is a zoo trainer I can come spend the day with him and meet all the animals up close! 

And then it was back to one of Eli's other favorite places, the beach. It was a beautiful evening!

He was pretty thrilled to find so many whole sand dollars. He loves collecting all sorts of interesting things he finds on the beach!

And before we ended the evening, we promised him that he could try out the rollercoaster that was on the beach. He'd been eyeing it and so off to his first wooden rollercoaster experience. It was terrifying but fun he said!

The next morning we had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport so back to the beach for a nice long walk and a refreshing treat. 

And one last ride on a rollercoaster to end what was one awesome trip!

I love both of these guys so very much, and I loved getting to spend time spoiling Eli for a couple of days.  These one on one trips sure bring some precious memories and help us build our relationships with our kids. It's definitely one of the highlights of my year! We love you Eli and had so much fun with you! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

San Diego - Part 1

One of the biggest challenges of having a big family is making sure you can give each of your kids the one on one time they need. I often feel like a failure in this area and I know it may be an impossible desire but we still want to try. One way in which we decided to try and cultivate this time, is special one on one trips with each kid. Last year Malachi came with us to Chicago and this year it was Eli's turn to come with us to San Diego!

Traveling with Eli is pretty fun because he's a guy who is up for anything and wants to gulp vacation time to its fullest. He is go go go and wants to see and do everything. Our first day we flew out bright and early!

Then it was off to see all the ships!

A dream come true for him to get to be on a real pirate ship!

On the drive back to the hotel the early flight caught up to him

But a quick little nap was enough and he was back at it

I knew that Eli loved time at the beach and so we decided we needed to stay at a place close to the beach so that he could spend our down time there. This worked out really well for us! 

Day 2 he really wanted to spend the day at Sea World so that is where we went! And even though it wasn't warm yet he wanted to do the water ride first thing!

and they got soaked but were still smiling! 

Eli has done all the rollercoasters at Disneyland and loved them, but this was his first time on a real big roller coaster and he loved every second of it! 

He was too scared to touch the sharks at the beginning of the day, but we couldn't get him away from the tank by evening.

And these guys were lots of fun nibbling and cleaning our hands.