We had two boys decide to join the summer swim team this year! This was our first year on a team and a really big learning year for us.
Liam did great and showed some major improvements in sportsmanship, diving and swimming in general. He actually won the award for most improved in his age group! And he won several ribbons for relays and backstroke (which proved to be his strongest race)
Silas loved every second of swim. He improved on his times for all races and declared that the butterfly was the best stroke. He won several ribbons for relays and freestyle and also a couple of heats in backstroke! His year end award was “Most Excited to Swim.”
There is a dad on the team who can make magic with sharpies! The boys called them tattoos.
We’re excited to see what next summer holds for these two and, hopefully a couple of other kiddos!
Our first meet was super long. And all of us felt it. Mark and I quickly realized staying for an entire meet did not work for any of us!
We are in a great church that really encourages leadership in the family. Mark has definitely been challenged and stepped up to lead our family closer to God. It’s a sweet blessing that he has baptized one of our kids and now, a second one.
Liam made a decision to follow Christ a couple of years ago but wasn’t ready to follow through in believer’s baptism until recently. I can’t explain what a blessing it is to watch two dads baptize their sons as a public profession of their faith in Christ. Liam decided before he was baptize to just start the process and dunked himself…hence the reason he was already wet. Our pastor is to the right of Mark giving a brief explanation of what it means to be baptized.
My oldest niece graduated from high school ya’ll! Oh dear, I feel old. She is a beautiful young lady who is going to do some pretty amazing things! I can’t wait to see it all!
Aunt Yaya with her best friend, K, and my niece J.
K has been like a second mother to J. I love seeing my niece getting all the love!
After graduation, we got to spend a couple of days with Grandmere and Papa.
And I met a little chipmunk as we left!
I can’t believe it’s been three years since this little princes/super hero/silly girl made her entrance in to this world.I don’t think any of us would trade her for the world!
She has lots of loves but Minnie Mouse and princesses are in the top spots (okay, so are all animals). I couldn’t resist grabbing up a Minnie Mouse outfit for the occasion. And, of course the ears. Her brothers had to get in on picture time too. And a Minnie Mouse balloon made it a great day.
Emmie loved opening gifts and enjoyed each one.
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided making a Minnie Mouse cake wouldn’t be too hard. If I hadn’t messed up on the fondant the first time (and threw it all over the kitchen table), it probably wouldn’t have been bad…Regardless I am super happy with how it turned out and seeing the smile that stretched a mile wide on our birthday girl was worth every bit of the headache I brought on myself.
For those who want a challenge: Here is the video I used to make the cake. Take note that in the comments, it also includes a link to a template. Templates make life a little easier. I also make my own marshmallow fondant using this website recipe. Finally, this little image saved me from a lot of headache trying to figure out how to get the peachy/light beige color of Minnie’s face.
Here’s the photo montage of the process to get to Minnie!
Minnie has a face! Phew….at this point, I felt like I might survive.
Bowed up. Because we had an extremely busy week, I had to get her face made about five days before her birthday. I just put her in the fridge until we were ready to use her.
The birthday girl with her birthday cake!
We stopped at a rest stop for lunch on the way home from our Ohio and Kentucky. Turns out, some Tennessee rest stops include their own adventures.
And beautiful views.
This was a wonderful trip for our family full of lots of learning and some pretty unforgettable adventures!
The Ark Encounter is not anything that I can really post and share a few family pictures and expect you to really experience it. It is a true personal experience that you really can grasp the enormity of unless you are actually there. Ya’ll, there are just no words to describe how amazing it is.
I’ll do my best to share some highlights from our trip to the Ark. We got there before just before it opened and our achy feet and tired kiddos were ready to head home by around 4. But, in the time, we managed to see and read as much as we could.
The woodwork and craftsmanship was just astounding. I believe over 200 Amish craftsman had a part in this and their amazing art and talent definitely shown through.
This was a great infographic that laid out the plausible way the ark could have held “all” the animals and 8 people. I can’t imagine the amount of research that went in to this.
Taking a quick break on a wooden beam!
The door to the ark. Just one example of how Christ is the only door to Heaven.
After exploring all day, ya gotta take a break. Ya’ll Bryant just went and sprawled out like this.
There is a small petting zoo on sight and the highlight for our whole family were the goats. They were so sweet and we all enjoyed petting them all.
This girl was a trooper through the whole trip and by the end of it, I realized I could turn the back seat of our double stroller around and she could easily climb in and out. This saved my back from a thousand pick up and put downs and she loved talking to mommy when she wasn’t knocked out cold.