Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Months 7-8 And Then Some: Beach Journeys

If you think my updates are bad now, just wait till the baby comes.

A couple of months ago, our family enjoyed a great trip down to Galveston. We hauled a travel trailer down and had the awesome opportunity to stay right on the beach.

No doubt about it, kids love the beach.

Such a cutie!

We had a good time with family.

Ryder and Daddy in the kayak.

It's hard to see, but Ryder is flying his kite.

Nick and Pat fishing with nets.

Sabrina checking out the fish they caught.

Nick fishing from the kayak.

We had a fun weekend, but this mama was ready for a break from camping.

 My official 7 month picture.

Between 7 and 8 months.

I love our family pics!

Before we left for our yearly fall festival trip (the Feast of Tabernacles), the baby appeared to be laying in a breech position. My midwife gave me some exercises to do to help the baby turn naturally. At 37.5 weeks, it was inconclusive whether or not the baby was in the correct position. So we got to do our first sonogram - ever! Thankfully, the baby is perfectly in position, head down! All is well, and I'm making my preparations for the big birth. Also, we still didn't find out what the sex of the baby is. I just thought it would be such a shame to wait this long and then find out right at the end. Only a couple-ish weeks left and we'll find out for sure!

Continuing on our long post...

We got back a week ago from the aforementioned fall festival trip. We made our way down to Orange Beach, Alabama.

If there's one available, we always have to stop at a Bass Pro Shop. The kids like the fish.

We also enjoyed an excellent yogurt shop with the cutest little chairs I've ever seen!

We stayed at an awesome house that was right on the beach! The kids - actually everyone - loved the proximity to the crashing waves. Here Gram is helping Xander with his sand castle, and subtly keeping Sabrina from destroying it.

My dad is gifted at sand sculpting. Here he's working on a horse.

The finished product, mostly because the tide came in.

Xander riding the horse!

Pops and Sabrina.

There were lots of really cool shells everywhere. Here the boys are digging in this ledge to find more good ones. The kids went out most nights with their headlamps and found lots of cool shells and crabs too.

Sabrina enjoying the water on a calmer day.

The kids "riding" the waves.

Nick was always on the lookout for something to catch. Not sure what this was, but it was cool that he caught it.

We had plenty of activities that were away from the sandy shore. Here are the kids on one of our shopping runs.

While a group of us went shopping, the rest went to play at the go kart track!

Riding on the little ferris wheel. Here is Ryder and Selene.

And Sabrina and Xander.

Riding the airplanes.

Swingin' around.

The carousel.

Always a favorite.

Train ride!

After the rides, they hit the arcade. Here's Ryder with his tickets!

This year was special because it was the first year for the kids to attend Festival Youth Instruction and also to sing in the children's choir. They were all so excited and ready to sing again!

Our only family picture this Feast. Gotta love McGuire's.

Near where we went to church, there was this full size ferris wheel. The kids kept asking to ride it, so finally one day Nick took them up. They said it was pretty amazing.

This will give you an idea about how big it was.

One of the best parts of this location is that you get to see both the sunrises and sunsets. Here was one of the last sunsets before we left.

And one of the last sunrises.

It was such a good trip, we were all very sad to leave.

On the way home, we stopped for lunch in Vicksburg and got a good view of the bridge over the Mississippi River. The kids were such troopers on the long drive home.

Well that should about do it for our travels for a little while anyway. The baby will be coming soon, and all will be focusing on that little one. Big things to look forward to!

Friday, September 2, 2016

6 Months: Soakin' Wet At Beaver's Bend

A couple of weeks ago we got to enjoy a lovely camping trip up to one of our favorite places, Beaver's Bend. We went last year around this time for Nick's birthday, and thought we better just do it again! We were joined by Nick's cousin and family again, which made it that much better!

The first day (and night for that matter) it rained. And rained. And rained some more. Seemingly confined to the camper and/or bus, the kids defied such thoughts by playing outside regardless of the constant dripping. They were so excited to be there that they could care less about being wet. Here they are drying off inside and playing with the grown up's finished game of Jokers.

One of the things the kids like best about Beaver's Bend is all the space to ride bikes. Here Nadia is trying to get the chain back on Ryder's bike.

The first night we enjoyed one of our favorite restaurants, The Grateful Head pizza oven and tap room. When we got back, we lit our first fire of the trip and made s'mores.

Nadia's got her hands full!

All lined up.

The next day was absolutely beautiful. The kids were happy about it.

Down by the river.

This boy is such a Mowgli.

Ryder on top of the mountain.
Actually it's just the hill back up to the campsite from the river, but the angle makes it look really steep.

With the nice weather, we decided we should take a hike. We only went a mile or so, but we got to see some great views and get some exercise.

Me and my girl.
She's a bit of a slow hiker, but hey, those little legs take a lot more effort to get places.

Family shot!

Ryan and Lis.

Nick always has to catch something when we're out and about. Here he caught this cool horned lizard.

We stopped at a creek that ran down the hill into the river. It was absolutely beautiful, and the kids had a great time walking around in the cool water.

Everyone enjoyed the nice cool water after the walking we did.
The guys are back there looking for crawdads.

And here it is: my 6 month picture.

Later after we got back and took a nap, we went swimming in the river with some floaties. Well, I didn't swim much, the water was stinkin' cold, but everyone else did.

Nick used a twin air mattress as a raft.

Ryder's turn!

Hangin' around the campsite.

Lovin' the camper.

Gathering wood for the fire.

Everybody doing their part.

Playing games in the dark- level: genius.

The last day we woke up thinking we'd have one last fire before we left. The weather had different ideas. Here Nadia and Jasper are holding a plastic bag over the fire to try to keep it dry while it catches.

While most have given up, Jasper continues to coax it up.

Eventually we all decided it was time to pack up and get out. Here's a view of Broken Bow Lake on our way out. We ended up spending some time at the local coffee shop eating, drinking and shopping. After that, we headed home.

It was a really enjoyable trip despite all the rain. We needed some family vacation time after a long summer, and this was just the thing. Still one of our favorite places to visit.

I have one last thing to include that has nothing to do with our trip, but it's exciting none the less!

Ryder started school!

He was so excited. He's doing pretty good too, considering Mommy is still kind of a mess getting everything together. This whole pregnancy seems to be a series of things catching up to me and me not being ready for it. Let's hope the baby doesn't pull something like that on me!