Monday, April 20, 2015


So my sister Mandy spoke at her MOPS a few weeks ago and I just had to post her talk! So proud of her! Such a well organized, funny, heartfelt, raw testimony. This was the little girl who was super shy and cried every day on the bus to school because she wanted to stay home. Now she's speaking in front of a hundred women and even posted on YouTube! And she was up there for 36 minutes! She rocked it and I am posting it here so I always know I can go back and find it.

Mandy talks at Mops: click HERE

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Florida Vacation: Day 2, 3, & 4

Day 2: The first few days were a blur. Sunday we arrived! Hallelujah. Splitting up the drive makes it bearable for the 11 hour drive. Checked in, unpacked, and hit the only place open for groceries... Walmart. Oh joy. It was as horrible and miserable as possible.

Day 3: I apparently didn't take any pictures but we were at the pool most of the day and let Lorelai take a nap in the afternoon. We then ate dinner at That's So Fresh and it was just Ok. Not as great as we were hoping.

Day 4: Time to have an educational field trip and lots of hands on activities. We went to the Glazer Children's Museum downtown Tampa. I lived just around the corner from here when I lived in Tampa and felt right at home in the city. Didn't get lost even once. Lots of pictures of this day. I planned ahead this time and packed bathing suits, towels, and a picnic lunch to eat by the out door fountains. Such a fun place for kids to play in the water and mama got to sit and watch. It's all by the Hillsborough River and they have done an amazing job since we moved away revitalizing this part of the city. Such a beautiful area now.

Riding Dorothy's bike at the new Wizard of Oz display at the museum.
Fearless Ellie climbed right to the top.
Lunch by the Hillsborough River.
Oh, bless her. We all joke about her sweet little chunky thighs. I don't think I could ever get enough of squeezing them.
Sissy helping sissy though the fountain.
Pretty girl photo bomb.
We kept talking about how much Mimi would have loved this exhibit!
Ride that cow girl!
Reece launching boats that kids can assemble.
My "little" girls playing in the water.

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Florida Vacation: Saturday Day 1

On Saturday we left for our third trip to Tampa since September. Woohoo!

Shane has been working on a project for almost two years and the last few months of construction and commissioning meant he needed to spend a lot of time down here. And the rule is (I made this up and so far it has worked in my  favor) if he's gone for more than a week then we are going too! 

I'm so thankful for our homeschool lifestyle as it allows us to "school on the go". Shane's job was one of the many reasons we chose homeschooling and we have loved the travel that comes with this. (Just in case you were wondering how we can spend our fifth and sixth weeks of vacation during the school year not at home.)

So back to Day1.

We left home around 11 a.m. Saying good-bye to the puppies since we didn't have the same housing situation as last time. As much as I hated leaving them behind, it is giving me a lot less work of taking them outside multiple times a day and cleaning up after them constantly. So they are happy at home in our house and big yard and we are cramped in a one bedroom hotel suite. I think they are probably missing us, but loving how quiet it is!

We drove all the way from SW VA to Savannah and stayed at the Staybridge hotel. These are great. With four kids it is hard to fit into a one bedroom regular hotel room and these rooms have pull out couches and kitchenettes too. Once we got there (around 5:30pm) we ate dinner and let the kids run out on the putting green at the hotel.

Getting all that pent up energy out of their systems.
 Avery is a tree hugger now.
 Sweet baby girl is still sporting her black eye.
 Ellie wanted to win the race.
 Lorelai was making sure she had lots of protein for her run.
 Lots of shenanigans going on here!
 Ellie zooming by.

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