Thursday, June 30, 2011

SonSurf Beach Bash 2011

VBS is over...the last day is always a little bittersweet for me. It is tiring to pack up three kids, haul them into VBS, teach 5 different lessons each day, and pack the three kids up again for lunch and naps at home. But the week always reminds me what I loved about teaching and how much I enjoy talking to kids of all ages about Jesus and being witnesses in their "Jerusalem."

We started the week by teaching Acts 1:8 and focused on the significance of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the world. It was a little difficult explaining to 1st graders that Jerusalem for them was actually Marietta, but we worked and reviewed all week long and I think they got it! Today, our lesson was on sharing the gospel in easy ways and we used a tool called the Evangecube. It's basically like a wordless book, but with pictures (you can find it online). Not only did this help kids know some easy ways to talk about Jesus, but it gave Whitney and I a chance in every class to share the gospel with those kids right in front of us. In our last class of the day, a 2nd grade boy interrupted me after I talked about Jesus rising again, and said that he didn't really know if he had Jesus in his heart. I couldn't help but look at Whitney and grin! I told the little boy that he was about to go back to his classroom and that his teacher would explain how he could know for sure that Jesus was in his heart this afternoon.

I wouldn't be able to do any of this if there wasn't childcare for the workers, and I am so thankful for Bella's teachers this week! They sent home a beach bucket this afternoon filled with the crafts she had done this week and they really put extra effort into doing things with them!

There was an "ocean" theme this week, so Bella and Rex got their pictures taken in an inner tube.

A thumbprint picture making fish and jellyfish.

Sleepy, but happy. Enjoying some nuggets after VBS and naptime.

Pains Of Motherhood

Here it black eye. The picture is a little blurry and the eye is not bad, but I've never had a black eye before, so I felt the need to document it.

I wish I had a really cool story to go along with it like saving a child from being kidnapped or pushing an old lady out of the way of a speeding vehicle, but it was just a cranky toddler who was briefly captivated by a car in the Kroger parking lot and turned her head too quickly. It's an exciting life, people.

In the very real possibility that I'm just a total wimp and you can't see which one is supposed to be "black", it's my right. I had people at VBS asking me today if I was really tired, which made me want to give THEM a black eye, but I refrained. You can't tell little kids about Jesus and then punch someone; I'm pretty sure Jesus would not be thrilled with that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hide And Seek

I discovered a little munchkin peeking out of my cupboards this afternoon...

TA-DA! There she is!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Long Way Home

We were all geared up for a long trip home! We left Saturday morning and decided to take it easy the first day. We stopped for lunch at Chipotle and had a picnic at the park. Bella got to run around and work out some energy, and we got to sit in the sunshine.

Our official anniversary picture

Where were the blue skies when we were on the beach?!?

Playing in the sunshine

When Mommy chases you, run to Daddy!

S + K

We had our anniversary on our last day of vacation...six years being married to an awesome man! He is my best friend and the calm to my storm. He makes me laugh every single day and is an incredible, hardworking Daddy to Bella!

I Caught A Fish!

Okay, so it was supposed to be about the kids, but I have to admit, I was a little excited to go fishing. It's usually just a "boy" activity, but on the last day, Kinslee and I decided to tag along. Aaaaannnnnnddd...we must have been good luck (well, for us, anyway), because Kinslee and I were the only ones to catch a fish!

I know this is so geeky, but I felt a little bit like I was in Ireland. It was cold and windy, but everything was so green! I don't think anyone who's been to "The Whirlpool" would compare it to Ireland, but it was my first visit, and I thought it was really pretty!

Dad and Steve setting up their lines

Braden and Kinslee fishing with Matt. Braden was a little bummed that the girls caught a fish and he didn't.

My prize! I'm 100% sure that I wouldn't have been able to catch it without Dad's help!

Snuggling with Kinslee

One Of The Gang

I'm probably crazy trying to do so many separate posts for vacation, but with about 500 pictures from the week, there's no way I could only choose 5 and do a quick post. It seems like Bella became a little girl instead of a baby this week. She loved hanging out with her cousins and used a lot of new words..."Nak" (snack), "C'mere" (come here), "Gama" (grandma), and a few others! Usually when she's around new people, she stays close to my side, but you could really tell that she recognized Steve's Mom and Dad from previous visits. She would run to mom to get picked up and laughed whenever she first saw mom in the morning. Instead of having to be held all of the time, she had a great time playing with her cousins on the sand or in the water!

The cousin picture on the pier; we tried to bribe Bella to smile, but it wasn't happening. Oh well!

Getting pushed by Maddie in the swing. Mad and Kaylie did such a great job learning what Bella liked to do and how to be firm with her when she needed boundaries.

Every summer, the cousins spend a week with Grandma and Grandpa for "Cousin Camp." Bella has never been old enough to go, but she still gets her own Cousin Camp t-shirt. This year, the girls decorated their shirts ahead of time, and Kinslee did a great job drawing on Bella's!

Playing in puddles with Kelem and Kinslee

Hanging out with Kaylie in the "Girl Room"; lots of whispering and giggling took place in this room!

Pancakes and eggs for breakfast. Sitting on the floor like one of the big kids!

Watching cartoons with Grandpa and Kinslee

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bella's First S'mores Experience

Campfires are always a huge part of our week in Oscoda. The last time we were up here with Bella, she was only a few months old, so this was the first time she was able to enjoy it.

The wind made our fires a little smoky, but we survived for the sake of chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows!

Diving in for her first bite!

Yum! She loved it! She got about halfway through it and decided to separate all of the ingredients.

Daddy pretending to take her s'mores!

All messy and loving it!

Great picture with all of our nieces and nephews! We love these kids and we wish we could see them A LOT more!


Our week at the beach was not exactly what we was cold, windy, sometimes rainy, and I think it only reached 70 degrees once all week, but that didn't keep us from enjoying the beach! The kids didn't even seem to know it was cold out and the adult just sucked it up! We did spend some time inside playing games and watching movies, but my Ohio family definitely forced me to enjoy the outdoors on an "as-is" basis! It was worth it!

Trying to do somersaults in the sand. A pretty stinkin' awesome vacation activity!Walking to the pier with Grandma.

Playing with Maddie and Kaylie in the sand. These girls did such a great job of being patient with Bella and finding ways to keep her happy all week!

My favorite picture of the entire week. Julie was our official photograper for the week, and she took some incredible, adorable pictures of Bella! This was Bella playing in the sand, and Julie just captured her in that perfect, little moment!

Aunt Julie found a monarch butterfly on one of our walks.

Playing with Daddy in the sand. She kept pointing to the lake saying, "wa'er! wa'er!" We had to finally give in!

About to walk into very cold water with Daddy! She was so excited and I was so glad that Steve was the one going into the water with her!

Jumping off of a fallen tree with Kelem and playing in the sand!

Mackinac Island

For those of you (including me) who aren't from Michigan, for some reason Mackinac Island is pronounced "Macki-NAW." Don't ask me why; I don't know either. BUT...the island itself was beautiful. We took a ferry ride to the island and then rode bicycles 8 miles around the whole island. I was a little worried that I would be dying, but it was a total blast!

This picture is so pitiful, but I had to include it. The kids wanted to ride on the top level which was all open-air. It was so windy! Once we started moving, it was crazy!

Hiding from the wind!

Finally getting into the action!

Cars weren't allowed on the island, so bikes and horses were everywhere! Bella loved it! She kept saying, "rees! rees!" (Her word for "horses.")

Getting ready to start our bike ride. I kept thinking how much my mom and dad would have loved this trip! They would have loved biking around the island.
Bella and Kinslee fitting into the bike-kart. Bella lost it a couple of times, but Matt and Julie switched out with us, and finished the trip by taking Bella and Kinslee the rest of the way. They sang and talked and all was right with the world again!

Taking a break at the halfway point. Enjoyed fries and a coke at the little snack shop.

Bella and Kinslee "skipping rocks" on the water.

Visiting the gardens at the Grand Hotel. It was the sight of an old Christopher Reeves movie, Somewhere In Time.

After the walk to the hotel, Steve's hip needed a break, so we stayed in town and everyone else walked to the old fort on the island. Bella liked the huge fireplaces.

Sticking her head out from one of the figurines.

A wonderful, full day! Waiting for the ferry with Grandpa.