Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

With Halloween knocking on our door, our family made the annual trek to the pumpkin patch....
 Ryan noted that there were more pumpkins in the patch this year.....I noted that this is likely due to the fact that usually our family is the one rushing in on Halloween eve to pick out the pumpkin so we can rush home and carve it!  This year, we were early!
 In true Maryn form, she took it all in.  Observing is her thing and then she dives in with no return.  
 She enjoyed picking up each and every pumpkin she could - and if it was too big, she tried anyway!
 She really is just too cute for words!  
 Meanwhile, our Maddox was busy being her little-Maddox-self....she found a seat on one of our pumpkins and put the wagon into drive!  This girl.  Seriously.  She defines fun!
 And that sweet face.  She is growing up so fast.  Someone said today that she looks older - ack!  I am not a fan of her growing older although she promises me daily that she will always live right next door to me no matter what!  
 Driving was hard work so she then decided her wagon-truck was just right for a quick little nap!  It was just her size!
 This guy....of course I am loving my time with him....hard to believe he is in HIGH SCHOOL!  He makes me smile daily and though I don't need for him to grow up, I love who he is becoming and the laughter he brings to my soul!
 The five.  One is not so happy about the group photo.  
 The night of the carving arrived....the girls were not so impressed with the smell of the pumpkin.
 But, alas, that did not stop these two from diving right in....
 They were all about getting the "guts" out and collecting the seeds so we could roast them....

 As much as the girls were into the pumpkin carving, the boys were not.  At all.  Pryce watched and kept up with Maryn.  Colin immersed himself into schoolwork....
 Sweet girl and her bike....she loves to ride and she loves to be outside.  The back porch has been such pleasure for us to enjoy!
 With the pumpkin carving complete, Maryn chose to come close for a better view....
 She was very impressed with her daddy's carving work....
 so much so that she decided to give him a little smooch.
 The big girls added on a few last touches to their pumpkin - all pumpkins need eyelashes and lipstick!
 The final touch....
and now we are ready for the big night of tricks and treats!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Answered Prayers

Maddox Ren asked for a baby sister many times.  She longed to hold her and sing to her and dance with her.  She prayed for her and dreamt of what their life would be like together, all of the things they would do together.
Behind the scenes, I worried.  Maddox fit so well into the baby-of-the-family role.  She relished in being the center of attention.  Being held was her preferred method of transportation with being pushed in a stroller a close second.  She  was (is) a mommy's girl in every sense of the word.
The day came when we held Maryn for the first time.  Maddox was so taken with her, she was quick to offer her anything that would possibly make her happy, she would not leave her side...she adored Maryn and her new big sister role.  
Not long after we arrived home, Maddox began to regress.  She was never ugly to Maryn and never said anything hurtful about her but she struggled.  She struggled with the fact that Maryn wanted and needed to be held by Mommy.  She struggled with the fact that the boys were smitten with their newest little sister.  She struggled with the fact that MK was such a caretaker in Maryn's life.  There were tears.  And thankfully, my patience won and I prayed fervently for both of their hearts to open up to their new family.
Early this week, Maryn awoke and Maddox came bouncing into her room.  Maddox jumped onto Maryn's bed exclaiming, "You are so adorable, aren't you? Mommy, she is so beautiful!"  And then she began to whisper into Maryn's ear.  Maryn giggled.  Maddox looked at me and asked, "Do you know what I just told her?"  I told her I didn't.  She replied, "I told her that I am so glad that she is the baby sister!  I wanted to be the baby but I am so happy she is the baby sister and I am the big sister now!"
Answered prayers are the best when they speak directly to your hearts desires!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Florida 2014

Two or more years ago, my niece, Emma, wrote a letter to our family stating that she was planning her 10th birthday party and would like to invite us to attend.  We were thrilled that she chose Disney as her venue to celebrate her big day.  One thing - at the time, she had just turned 8!  
 My, how time flies!  In what seemed like no time at all, Emma grew up and Disney was our destination for a quick family getaway to celebrate our special 10 year old!  Our first stop, Sea World Orlando.  (Note - I did not take my big camera along for this trip so we solely depended on our phones for photos!  Definitely a wise decision in a packing sense.)  
 We jetted from show to show and we were all amazed at the sites we took in....the dolphins flying through the air, the killer whales splashing the audience and gliding through their tanks, the baby alligators, the acrobats, and especially the rescue animals that performed in Pets Ahoy!  Maryn spent the majority of the day with her eyes as big as saucers and saying, "ohhhh....ahhhh!"  
 After a fabulous dinner at our beloved Cheesecake Factory and a restful little nighttime slumber, we awoke and made our way over to the Magic Kingdom for a magical day.  
 We dashed from Peter Pan to It's A Small World to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to Buzz Lightyear....
 to Dumbo to Space Mountain to the Haunted Mansion....and so forth.  There was no slowing us down!  We literally went from sun-up to sun-down and we loved every minute of it!
 Some of us were a bit competitive during a few rides:)
 While others just took it all in!
 And this crew was the best!  We laughed and laughed some more as we darted from ride to ride.  
 Our sweet Maddox found Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dum and cozied up with them for a quick photo-op between her roller coaster rides.  She was in heaven our entire trip!  
 Dinner at Rainforest is always a treat....and waiting to be seated provided a few moments of entertainment!  
 This is such a telling sort of picture! 
 So thankful for this time we were able to spend with our little family!  My kiddos are my world and I love every moment that I am given with them!  It isn't always perfect....
 but I would say it is pretty darn close!  So thankful for each of them and the joy they bring!
 This sweet girl was a trooper!  She went with the best of us and smiled the whole way through...
 We were all sad to see it end.  But, alas, all good things must end and our Florida trip was no exception....
we all woke up Monday morning mumbling about how we wished we were standing in line to ride some incredible ride at Disney.....and there was one certain 5 year old who mumbled quite loudly about her plans to spend her 6th birthday at Disney!  Oh dear!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Seabrook Island

Maryn was all ready for the beach....
 Before we left to go to the beach, I asked Maddox to go get some shoes to wear for our trip.  She came back begging to take her pink pink boots it was for this one!  She really is one of a kind and we adore her fun personality!
 Ready, set, GO!!!!  Though it was October and though the temps were not the warmest ever, our kiddos weren't going to miss out on an opportunity to take on the ocean with their boogie boards.
 Meanwhile, on shore, Maryn spent some time with the sand buckets and the water inside...
 Maryn was really never at a loss for something to do whether it was playing with a sibling or just taking it all in by herself....
 Our handsome Pryce....12 years and counting!
 I believe every.single.sand.toy imaginable was spread across the shoreline and our kiddos were busy for hours....
 Watching this little one explore and enjoy her first time at the beach was such a gift!  
 My face hurt from smiling and laughing so much as I watched her take it all in! I kept thinking, three months ago today we were stuck in an airport making our way home from China.  And she was so very MAD! Raging mad.  
Today, she was all smiles.  Nothing but smiles.  So happy.  So LOVED!
 MK decided to dance a bit....and her goal was to make her hair swing out as far as possible! 
 Maddox was in her element just creating and singing all day....
 Maryn was a bit surprised when she decided to pour her cup of water over her head....
 What a joy it is to have this baby girl home forever!  
So thankful for this weekend with our family of seven!  This was Maryn's first time at the beach and our family's first time away for a mini-vacation....we needed these moments together biking, exploring, laughing, loving....I adore my family and I am so very thankful for each of them and the immense joy they bring into my life each day!
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