Our first born turned 14 this week. It is truly crazy how time flies by. I have been a wreck crying over the fact that he only has 4-5 summer vacations with us.
Ethan is a very talented child who we are so proud of. He continues to make straight A’s, has made the football team, basketball team and all region choir so far this year. He keeps us running all over town with all his happenings. Most days we have to shut down something or other that he is cooking up with friends! He has a big love for God and his friends and is working on his love for his siblings. Ethan loves his hair and can still be found fixing his hair many times a day. We know he will be a great man soon and we are cherishing the time we still have with him.
Early morning birthday breakfast
A visit from the grandparents and dinner at Kabuki
He asked for a big home party this year and big it was. He had 19 kids show up for his party! They seemed to have a good time. We loaded up on junk food and pizza. I was shocked that we had so much food left over.
What a sweet, handsome boy!
May you have a wonderful year Ethan and many more to come. You are loved more than you know. I know it is hard being the oldest child!
Our vacation this summer was small in comparison to our big Epic trip last summer. It felt a bit like a let down staying in the mountainless Texas heat, but we really enjoyed our time with family and the chance to pause for a moment.
Our first stop was to Fort Worth to celebrate our grandma’s 86th birthday! The kids enjoyed laser tag and bowling at The Main Event.
After a nice three day visit, we were off to San Marcos. We were thrilled for the chance to stay with and see the kids’ Godparents, Tim and Lois. They sure have a lovely, quiet home tucked away in the hill country. It felt wonderful to sleep in and relax. Everyone enjoyed watching the deer roam by the house and viewing the birds. The chiggers were not nice to us though!
We enjoyed coming together at the end of the day to work together to get dinner on the table. It was refreshing to eat whole food meals and to try new recipes.
We chose to take a slow float tubing adventure and boy was it slow! At the beginning, we were not moving at all (we had to use our hands as paddles to get going), but by the last half of the trip we were moving quickly and even hit some mini rapids. At one point, Maddie was terrified when our tubes disconnected and we were drifting from each other. The funny thing was: the water was moving so slowly that sometimes the wind pushed us backwards and the water was only a few feet deep.
Only a few miles away from the river spot was Canyon Lake. What a beautiful place to visit. It was fun to see Ethan playing like a little kid again with his siblings. The kids had a hard time leaving.
We had so much fun at the lake, we went back the next day.
That evening we ventured to Austin. Tim and Lois treated us to a fabulous dinner and then volunteered to drive our kids back home so that we could have a night out. While the kids were treated to s’mores, we were able to visit our friend Chris at his new whiskey distillery, Still Austin. We enjoyed hanging out and taking a tour. The Yard was a happening place with great energy!
Thanks to our hosts, we were able to relax much more than we anticipated on this trip. It was lovely getting to see new sights and people we love.
Mother’s day was simply wonderful over here. The kids all made me handmade cards and treated me to an oatmeal buffet for breakfast. We went on a long bike ride and then played a few board games before heading off to evening church. It’s crazy but there were zero fights between the kiddos. That was a treat in itself!
The kids let me relax for an extra hour in the morning before they came in to give me hugs.
Max and Ethan made me a few cards. Max’s of course were super cute and funny while Ethan’s card actually brought me to tears. It was so very thoughtful.
While Maddie went with a more comical style. Don’t worry I get her humor now. You may be wondering where all the hairballs came from… Well, I had been saving them to give to the birds for their nest making, but then I read that hair is harmful to them. So, that’s how Maddie acquired them! Maddie is obsessed with giving all girls beards and mustaches, ha.
Then it was time for our bike ride. Maddie convinced Max to try his bike without his training wheels and within 2 mins. he was off and riding. He did fall a few times and cried a bit but got right back up and kept going!
Whew, this mother gig sure gets tiring but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Thanksgiving weekend was magical. We spent actual Thanksgiving day half relaxing at home with games and the other half visiting with grandparents and cousins.
The next day we decided to go camping at our local state park. Camping became a part of who we were this summer and it felt good to get back at it! The kids enjoyed hiking for hours both days. It sure was cold during the night though! We each slept in multiple layers.
Max and Maddie even went mountain biking for a few miles. It was Max’s first time to trail ride and boy was he a dare devil!
Sadly, most of the pictures we took can not be found. I hope they did not get deleted…
Here are a few pics we still have from the weekend
The older kiddos and John hiked to a very high point. Here is their view from up top. They had a blast!
We are certainly thankful for our health, family, and everything else life has to offer.