Lovely Vacation, Pt 1

Following the wedding the whole family left for a much anticipated vacation. Chance was in from TX, the newlyweds came, and my parents and brother and sister-in-law were even able to come for a bit.

We rented a house on the beach, at the "gateway to the redwoods" and had a glorious time.

I hadn't been up that way in a few years. The size of those trees is truly awesome! The day we arrived we went to the Trees of Mystery, if you ever head up that way Don't Miss It :)

Paul Bunyan and Blue welcome us as we arrive

Paul talks, and the kids couldn't believe that he knew everything the were doing

The Newlyweds

Sweet boy

So glad they could join us

Thank You God, for the wonder and majesty of your creation


Joyful Times


Such Skill With a Chainsaw

So Big

I Do

She's Married!

On August 8 we all trooped to the courthouse to celebrate Kirstyn joining her life to Zacs until death do they part. It was a busy day at the courthouse, I guess 08-08-08 was a popular wedding date.
She looked beautiful and she said she wasn't even nervous.

Here they are just after filling out their marriage license

Don't they look happy?

And this is Zac, promising to love and cherish...Outside of the courthouse was a pretty little gazebo all set up for pictures. I was surprised and pleased, and thanks to the fact that my mom has seen a lot of wedding pictures and considers herself something of an expert at posing, we got some nice shots :) Of course, the couple never knew quite where to look, so most of the nice shots were of one or the other of them...

Here they are with all of thier siblings.
Afterward we all went to Claim Jumper for an absolutely delicious lunch where I neglected to take any pictures, but where speaches were given and gifts opened and love abounded.

A Contest

Shanna is having a contest for one of Tonya's beautiful pieces of wall art and I want to enter! I love what Tonya does at Fruitful Vine Creations, and even bought a few for gifts a while back. I have spent lot's of time dreaming over what I would want on my own walls but haven't yet made the plunge. This would be a great opportunity to do that.

So, go have a look at Tonya's website and you'll be dreaming about your own walls soon. And then head on over to Shanna's blog for some wise words and a contest!


Happy Birthday Kirstyn

Kirstyn turned 18 a few weeks back. It's so amazing to think that my beautiful, first-born daughter is 18 years old and about to be a mom herself. It gives some perspective to these long nights with Titus. I am much better at embracing the moment than I used to be.

The day before her birthday she and I had a lovely spa day. Sort of a birthday/wedding gift combo. We were massaged, and facialed, our feet made smooth and pretty and our hair cut and styled. The even fed us lunch. It was a lovely day of pampering and togetherness and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I have been so blessed to see the hand of God these past few months. My prayer for years has been that he would restore our relationship, the he would restore the time the locusts have eaten. God graciously used difficult circumstances to bring our relationship to a place I could not have hoped for 6 months ago. Truly all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. The Lord led us to Texas and leaving her behind broke my heart. But He had his reasons, just as he did for bringing us back. I praise Him for allowing me to see a bit of his plan, for the undeserved reassurance that He is working.

Happy Birthday Kirstyn! It's been a joy to watch you blossom and grow.

Other Things We've Been Doing

Eli lost his first tooth. He has been anxiously awaiting that landmark ever since Ethans teeth began fleeing his mouth in earnest when he was barely 5. But he lost it in his sleep and we never did find it.

Katherine removed the 2nd one for him, and it flew out of her hand as quickly as it flew out of his mouth, We never found that one either.

Sierra found the beginnings of a birds nest being made with a contribution from Reeces

And the girls spent many a happy hour making salt dough. I'm so glad they are at an age when they can have fun doing that kind of stuff together and I just have to take pictures :)

Oh Yea, July 4

Before all that other stuff we celebrated the Fourth of July in high style. We began with the annual event in BVS (a local community) where we watched a civil war cannon being fired,

and motor boats race around the lake. We visited with friends and ate good food. When the kids got hot they just stuck their heads in the old fashioned water pump.

Later we headed to the bull riding competition in town and finished the day by watching the fireworks together from our front yard.

It was the best July 4th since the last one ;0

Play Day Fun

On the heels of my sister's visit the girls had their first playday. A playday is a horseback riding even that is a lot less serious than your typical show or rodeo. It's a chance to practice your skills with some light-hearted competition. The girls weren't able to ride their own horses since we don't have a trailer, but their riding instructor had horses to spare.

The first order of business was to drive all over Bakersfield searching for a solid colored, western shirt in Hailey's size and makeing 2 pairs of denim culottes. We were told the dress code was quite strict, but we appeared to be the only ones who got the memo. Nonetheless, the looked lovely didn't they?

The girls participated in several events, with Hailey riding english and Sierra western, and they both did quite well. Hailey ended the day with 3 first place, 2 seconds, and 2 fifth place ribbons. She took first in walk/trot barrel, walk/trot poles, and walk/trot pleasure. First place came with a couple of nice little prizes too.

Sierra took 2 seconds, a third and 2 fourths. Her seconds were in walk/trot barrels, and walk/trot poles.

They were both so excited, they didn't expect to place at all since they are so new to riding. It was a hot day, and I would do a few things differently if I knew all that was entailed, but all-in-all a good day.

Finally, An Update

I'm such a bad blogger, so much to update on and...no updates. I've just been so busy living my life that I haven't taken the time to put it into coherent thoughts. But I'll give it a shot.

Let's see, where were we?? In July my sister came to stay for a week and we had a wonderful visit sadly lacking in pictures. In fact, I think the only picture I took was one of Alyssa and Carolynn on horseback.

But we all had a wonderful time together. The girls rode horses and visited, the boys built brick creations, jumped on the trampoline and got FILTHY. It was childhood heaven. My sister and I had a great time catching up and watching the babies love each other. Carolynn was walking all over the place and Ty was just getting started, but after watching her for a week he wanted no part of crawling! He also decided he needed to nurse immediately whenever he saw her nursing. Which was a lot more frequently that he had been nursing. :)

We went to the park, ate junk food and just generally enjoyed ourselves.

Thanks for coming to see us, we love you guys!