Friday, May 31, 2013

Spring Break in Arizona

We were so fortunate to be able to make a trip down to Arizona over spring break.  Typically we go towards the end of the school year, but with a few vacations already this year, we didn't want Carter to miss any more school.  We found great deals on flights and the kids and I were able to go for the entire week.  It was the perfect time for a visit to Arizona.  The weather was sunny and beautiful, but not too hot, so we were able to do a lot of fun things outside.  My mom had to work a few of the days that we were there, but it was still a very relaxing, rejuvenating time.  Kyle flew down late Wednesday night, so he got a good bit of vacation too.  I don't think any of us wanted to leave!!!
Always a favorite past time ~ picking grapefruits in the backyard.
We enjoyed fresh grapefruit each morning and the kids had a lot of fun searching for the biggest ones to pick!

Carter, Tony, Cindy and Kennedy

My brother and his family came over the first night that we were there and we had a belated Easter celebration.  The kids loved spending time with Cindy and Tony and it was great to catch up with Kyle and Nallely.

First full day in the sun and we were off to Tumbleweed park!
This is such a fabulous park and the kids had a lot of fun.

Pops came with us and we had a nice little picnic lunch.

Even though it was sunny and warm, the pool was still quite chilly.  The kids didn't seem to mind, though and insisted on going for a dip.
They didn't really last too long but they had fun playing and splashing!

Nana had given Carter and Kennedy Easter baskets when we arrived and then set up an egg hunt, as well.  Such sweet and thoughtful gestures that made our vacation extra special.

a little photo before heading out for the afternoon

The kids had been asking to go to Amazing Jakes again, and Tuesday happened to be "discount" day.  They had an absolute ball ~ a fun way to spend the evening!

Carter challenged me to a game of air hockey (he won).

Pops was a good sport and went on the spinney rides with Kennedy
Both kids were smiling from ear to ear the entire time

Carter and I bowled a few games

And we tried our hand at laser tag
Carter was quite nervous about it at first and practically had to be coerced to play...but once he got started he had a blast!
We played several rounds and all had some good laughs

more spinning

bumper cars!
Kennedy was tall enough to go on the bumper cars this year and she couldn't get enough. 
She was crazy!!!
I can't get enough of her face in this picture, she is such an adrenaline junkie and was having so much fun!

Carter liked them too

One more quick round of laser tag ~ we had the whole arena to ourselves, which was a lot of fun.

The next day, Daddy was here and Nana didn't go to work so we all went to the zoo.  We hadn't been to the zoo since I was pregnant with Kennedy.  When it's over 100 degrees in the summer, the last place you want to be is walking on concrete without much shade.  But the spring is the perfect time to go and explore.

taking a ride on some large lizard statue, of course

my little joey

now she's a spider
The zoo is quite large and has a lot of fun, extra things for kids to do. 
Carter and Kennedy had a ball.

Carter tried his hand at milking a cow (simulated of course), but it was very life like and a great way to get an idea of what it would really feel like.

Carter was so pumped to get out on the golf course with Daddy and Pops.
They had a wonderful day and he did so well that they went back again on Sunday.

he definitely looks the part

nice swing, Carter-Man!

Pops and Carter

a highlight of any round is getting to drive the golf cart!
Definitely a great start to a fabulous vacation

**more posts to come from Arizona**

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Celebrating Easter!

Unfortunately, I came down with the flu on Easter some of the special things that I had wanted to do were tabled but we were still very capable of celebrating the grace and gifts of Jesus.  The Easter season is one of redemption and salvation, rebirth and renewal and we did our best to emphasize these important aspects to the kids.  It's all too easy to get caught up in the eggs and bunnies ~ and while we enjoy those things very much, we talked a lot about the true meanings of this season.
We colored a few eggs on Saturday night...

Kyle and I managed to get a few things together before the Easter bunny made an appearance!

oh, we had two very excited little ones rushing down in the morning.
I think Kennedy was up well before 6:00, anxious to see if the Easter bunny had made it!

Rapunzel pajamas

a little fun with Bertie Botts, Every Flavor Beans
Carter liked the grass flavor but drew a line at eating ear wax.  A nibble of the soap one had him gagging for a bit!

lots of fun little treasures

Carter, on his own, had decided to give up playing the Wii for Lent.  And he did such an awesome job.  Not that he plays every day, but it was never an issue and he could verbalize why his was making that sacrifice.  I was really proud of him.  So, on Easter morning, as I was getting breakfast ready, he played a quick game of bowling.

Happy Easter!

my loves

of course we had to take a ton of pictures before we left for church!  Thankfully the kids had enough sugar that they were willing participants.

The weather was gorgeous (nearly 80 and beautiful sunshine!), so we stopped along Dawson's Creek on our way out to Hillsboro.
The cherry blossom trees were in bloom and it was just too pretty and springy to pass up!

my little man is getting so big

the boys
Jake is getting so old and grey, he's such a good dog and we're lucky to have him

my sweet girl

Happy Easter!
He is Risen!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt!

For the second year in a row, we had a beautiful, sun shiny day for our neighborhood's Easter egg hunt.  Unfortunately, I got the flu a day or two before, but I managed to pull myself out of bed and torture the kids with pictures! 
(Thankfully it was a short lived bug and I was feeling much better by Easter morning)
It was a clear, crisp, sunny morning ~ perfect for hunting eggs!

I had to include this one, too, because it's such a testament to what we go through in our attempts to get one good picture.  One child is smiling and looks great while the other is being goofy.  No matter, this is a great "real life" shot, as the kids are always being silly!

Kennedy and her friends, Kaitlin and Gracie
serious conversations were had, I'm sure
Carter with Nate and Jacob

Kennedy searching for eggs

We are so fortunate to have neighbors who are good friends, too.
It makes activities like these so much fun!

a basket full of eggs!
This is Carter's last year with the younger kids.  He'll move up to the last area for 7-9 year olds next year.  I vividly remember our first egg hunt when he was just two years old ~ time flies!

Even though I was feeling awful, I love this picture of Carter and me...he was having so much fun out there and was so filled with joy.  I love times like these and hope that I don't forget them when days are challenging.

couldn't resist trying to get a cute picture with the spring flowers

A fun and festive tradition that we all really enjoyed!