Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

I am finally taking a minute to sit and post a few pictures and updates on what we've been up to lately. (I'm supposed to tell you my children named our tree Timothy) Anyways, I have been crazy bust trying to keep our girls motivated in school as they see Christmas break coming right around the corner. Also, I am normally done Christmas shopping well before December but because we were gone so much in October and November I am finding that I am still picking up odds and ends for people.

We have a handful of traditions we like to do with the girls every Christmas season and dinner and a carriage ride at the Mission Inn is one of them.

It is beautiful and it NEVER gets old; not even for our teenager. ;)

This year we decided to treat our moms...

Morgan wanted to make caramel apples for her competitive dance team so I was super excited because I had never made them before...

We went to Oak Glen and bought their container of caramel (highly recommended) and we set off to make some yummy all though REALLY MESSY treats! We double dipped them in chocolate as well. It took all afternoon but was a labor of love for sure!

In the end we had 17 happy little wrapped up apples...

And the girls loved them!
Yesterday I took Ryanne to run some errands and thinking the Target shopping center would be somewhat quiet on a Monday morning (uh no!) it was packed. Like I should have just parked at home and walked to Redlands because it would have been faster kind of crowded. Anyways, I looked around at all the people, traffic and long lines and my list of errands and decided I was going to have to chose patience and joy. I was going to have to chose not to drag my 10 year old around with my hair on fire and chose to be kind when others weren't. Crazy thing is; every time I pulled into a different parking lot a parking spot near the front opened up. My daughter probably thought I was crazy because I kept saying,"Thank you Jesus!" Ha! I decided to be grateful I had a safe car to drive into those spots, money in my wallet to buy my kids food and an able body to even be out and about. Then I heard this lady honk at this car in front of her and the guy leaned out his window and yelled,"SHUT UP!" It was then that I was most grateful for joy, for Gods mercy and for the real reason for Christmas. Then I got up this morning and my devotional was titled "How joyful are you this Christmas?" The author went on to say that Christians should be radiators of joy. Having a joy in Christ that is real and deep and lasting. Love it! I hope to post again in the next week but if not I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!!

Merry Christmas

Monday, November 24, 2014

Funny of The Week..

I could seriously write something that is hilarious that my kids say. My youngest more so as my oldest is in the teenage years but she still has some good ones. I thought I would share two that have stuck with me that I find completely entertaining.

Ryanne: "Mom, I just want you to know that even though you have arthritis and your hands swell, I still think you are beautiful."

Me: "Ahhh, thanks Ryanne. You are always such an encouragement to people."

Ryanne: "Ya, let's just hope it doesn't go to your face."

Me: sigh....

Me: "Morgan, come in here and tell me your story while I get ready to go."

Morgan: (Talking non stop about friends, dance, a cartoon she saw) She stops and sees me putting on mascara and says,"Ahhh, there's my mom!"

Me: Thinking to myself, "I must have looked bad!" Ha!

Kids are the best. They build you up and then put you right back in your place where you belong. I wish I could bottle these kinds of things because they crack me up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fun In Florida.....

We just got back from a really fun two weeks away. We took the train to New Orleans spent a night there and then rented a car and headed to Florida for Dans IronMan race. 

If you have never taken the train anywhere, I would highly recommend it. They have sleeping cars and even family sleeping cars. All your meals are included (and the food is good!) with a sleeping car ticket purchase. It is also fun to be able to get off at all stops.

Yes it does take longer than flying but on the ground you see our beautiful country as you travel which is worth the extra couple days if you can get away.

Stayed at The Drury in New Orleans and then in the morning we were off..

Dan's mom went on this trip with us which was fun. She had never seen Dan race so that was exciting for her.

I fell in love with Biloxi Mississippi....

We stopped at the cute little restaurant..... 

I think it was at this point we were introduced to real southern sweet tea. Let's just say it's like a drug and you want more and more and more!!! We became slightly addicted to it and now have detox twitches as we walk around our house in a daze.

We also spent a little time in Mobile Alabama and enjoyed walking around checking out the city.

We rented a condo in Panama City Beach Florida and it was on the 21st floor. A little scary being up that high at first but we got used to it.

The first couple days were spent getting ready for Dan's race..

and settling into the house....learning our way around the town etc.

It was warm and sunny and the beaches were beautiful!

The IronMan venue was great as usual.

This nice lady was making crepes..she even made me a gluten free crepe! YUM!

I don't know what it is with the enormous beach chairs in Florida but they were all over the place...

The sun sets from our patio took our breath away....

The night before Halloween I snuck around decorating the house to surprise the girls....

They woke up to all kinds of goodies and treats so that was really fun...

Looking down from our condo at the pool..yikes!

The girls had packed costumes...a fairy and a Ninja turtle....

The IronMan venue opened up all their booths to the kids and handed out candy...

The girls also ran in the IronKids race....

People were putting huge messages or images in the sand and then going up to their condos and taking pictures of someone created the IronMan symbol... pretty fun. :)

From our patio every morning we would watch sting rays swim by. 20 and 30 at a time. These were the smaller ones, maybe about a foot or so wide. Morgan was in the water one day and one swam right up her leg and then jumped out of the water. It was so funny because she didn't see it coming and she screamed so loud! They were everywhere so after a while you just got used to being in the water with them.

There were almost 3,000 racers in attendance...

Dan's aunt and uncle Jack & Sharon came into town from Arkansas and spent four days with us and helped cheer Dan on.

We seriously had the best time hanging out with them and teaching them the IronMan way ha!

So the entire time we were there it was in the 70's, warm and clear and then the day before the race we hear a cold front with record low's is going to blow through the morning of the race....

Everyone scrambled to the local sporting goods store to buy gloves and scarves and jackets because well umm....we were in Florida and nobody brought clothes for a blizzard. It was 40 degrees that morning with winds up to 25 miles an hour. The athletes stayed positive because well at leas the water was in the 70's still right? Ya' it was still warm but the ocean currents were so bad the ocean was literally blowing sideways. The IronMan officials cancelled the swim portion because they feared to many people would need rescuing.

So all 3,000 racers now had to run inside and transition to their cycling gear....

We were freezing!!!

The race people did the best they could but getting that many racers out of the start took HOURS!!!

The girls kept a great attitude and we all had a good time and went with the flow...

When we would see Dan pass and knew it would be hours before we saw him again we ran inside and thawed out...

Then would run back out and cheer him on again as he ran by. I felt so bad for the racers, I mean they were freezing!

Dan finished though AND beat his last time by like 30 minutes or more!

A few days later Dan recovered and the weather went back to BEAUTIFUL we drove East a couple of hours and went to some other small towns and beaches. We stumbled on this house in WindMark that rents out weekly for the summer....Ahhhh yes I am picturing myself there next year ha!

The girls bought nets and spent their days swimming and trying to catch fish and also digging up shells from the ocean floor.

Ryanne found this on the ocean floor....

We spent one day at WonderWorks which is an indoor amusement park.

It's all fun stuff but learning at the same time...sneaky right?

The building is built to have it all be upside down....

They had this three story ropes course that they harness you in and you walk across all these terrifying balance beams etc. We spent tons of time climbing on this thing.

It was such a blessing to get away and have Dan be able to take the time off from his stressful job and hours. I will never take for granted the incredible amount of time I get to spend with my family doing things that get us out of our daily routine and comfort zone. We are proud of you Dan for finishing the race and thank you Betty, Jack & Sharon for going with us. SO fun!!