Sunday, April 14, 2013

John 14:1-6

Our little Elliana has really grown and flourished over this past year. Not just emotionally, physically and mentally,  but spiritually too.

While I would love to take credit for her spiritual growth, I have to say that our church has done a lot for Ellie. Our church really takes pride in it's Sunday morning and Wednesday evening classes for little ones. They're always saying that they're not just babysitting kids while we're in church or in our own small groups, but they're really working hard to teach kids the word of God and to know it well.

Caleb and I were first caught off guard and impressed when Ellie came home singing a song that taught her how to sing all of the books in the old testament and in the right order (we still want to get this on video by the way).

A few weeks ago, her Sunday school teacher handed me some flash cards to help Elliana with her latest scripture memorization. Imagine my shock when I sat down to work on this with her and she already had the whole thing memorized! I'm not saying she didn't glance at the flash cards (which by the way she can't read so she's just going off of a picture), but she didn't look at them much.

Am I bragging on my daughter here? Yes! I think most parents would. :) But I'm also bragging on our church. I'm just so happy to see Ellie growing so much and enjoying learning about God and loving him with her whole heart!

Without further ado, I give you Ellie reciting John 14:1-6:



Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break Day 1

After returning home from San Francisco, Caleb had only 1 week of work and then it was spring break!

We always try to fill spring break with something fun, whether it's a big vacation or a small one (more often than not it's a small one).

Last year we took the kids to Denver for a 2 night stay. We didn't want to go to Denver again, and with my pregnancy, we knew we couldn't go too far. So we looked at other in state options and came up with Colorado Springs.

Since we had just come back from a weekend getaway in San Francisco, and we knew that after spring break we had a mini vacation coming up in Breckenridge, we knew the budget would be tight. So, we looked for ways to have fun, but not spend a fortune.

I don't know if you have used Hotwire before, but it's my new best friend! We used Hotwire to book a hotel and ended up with this amazing hotel for just $55 per night. Score!




The hotel had everything we REALLY wanted, which first and foremost was a pool, a free, HOT breakfast (by the way, one of the best breakfasts I've ever had for free at a hotel), and a large public area where the kids could burn some energy if they were getting cabin fever in the hotel room.



I highly recommend using Hotwire if you're willing to take a gamble on which hotel you end up with. No matter the hotel, you always get the best bang for your buck.

Anyway, on Tuesday of spring break we packed up the car and told the kids we had  a surprise for them. We hadn't told them about any of our plans and we just drove straight to the hotel. It's so fun to surprise the kids with quick getaways like this.

Once we got to the hotel, we swam in the pool for a while and then headed to the room to change for dinner.

I had done some research before we left on family friendly restaurants in the area, and I kept coming back to this place called iT'Z. We'd never been there before but it looked like a good place so we checked it out.


Boy am I glad we did! IT'Z is an all you can eat, pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet place with many, many games and rides for kids of all ages. When I was explaining it to my sister Courtney, she said "Oh, so like a Chuck E Cheese?"

This was WAY cleaner and better than Chuck E Cheese! The food was better, the facility was much cleaner, and we were surprised by how many free rides and other fun stuff was available for the little ones. Here's the kicker, since we were there on a Tuesday night, dinner cost half as much as usual. Dinner for the 4 of us cost only $9.00! Ethan was free, but still. Crazy!

Also, there were 4 separate dining rooms each with their own theme. I don't remember all of the rooms, but I remember one was made to be look and feel like a drive-in. We ended up in the cartoon room where they had cartoons playing while we ate. I'm not usually a fan of eating and watching movies/TV, but it helped to entertain our squirmy 2 year old. 

After dinner, our kids had a blast sliding down slides, jumping in the jump castle, and riding the free rides.








I think we only spent maybe $5 on other games and rides but we could have easily not spent anything.




When it was time to leave, the kids did NOT want to go. It's a good thing we left when we did though because these two were TIRED! Once we got back to the hotel room, both kids were out within 10 minutes. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Home Sweet Home!

March went by so fast that it's almost a blur. If you read my previous post, you know why. We were gone more weekends than we were home, and I learned that there actually IS such a thing as too much vacation.

Don't hear me wrong, we had a wonderful time everywhere we went and we made some great memories, but after a while you get tired of living out of suitcases and sleeping in beds that aren't your own.

I won't try and put all of our mini-vacations from the past month into one post (that would not only get long, but boring) so I'm just going to try and catch up on this ol' blog of ours and recap 1 or 2 at a time.

The first weekend we spent away from home was in San Francisco from March 8-10. The reason for the trip was to visit with Caleb's Grandma Jeannette and family. The family is going through his grandparents house and to get it ready to sell since Caleb's grandma recently moved into an assisted living home. Caleb's parents flew and spent the weekend with us.

Since this trip was meant to be mostly working on the home, we decided it would be best to leave Ellie and Ethan behind with my sister and brother-in-law. No matter how much I know how important it is for young moms (and dads) to get away, and no matter how much I crave a break, it's still hard for me to leave my little ones behind. The moment I'm away from them, I miss them and while I'm away almost everything reminds me of them. It did help to know they were in good hands.



We left Colorado very early in the morning and arrived in San Francisco about mid-morning. Friday morning/ early afternoon was our only time for "playing" that weekend so we tried to make the most of it.

We headed to Fisherman's Wharf via good old fashioned cable cars and enjoyed a really nice lunch right by the ocean. It was wonderful!




I'd never had a salmon club sandwich before, so when I saw that on the menu I simply had to try it. I love salmon, and I love a good club sandwich. It sounded like the perfect combination to me. It was every bit as delicious as I had hoped! Just look how beautiful it was!



After lunch we headed to Ghirardelli for the best hot fudge sundaes you have ever had. Simply heavenly!

After Ghirardelli we spent some time window shopping and walking around Fisherman's Wharf before meeting up with Caleb's Aunt and Uncle for dinner. We enjoyed a small walk on the beach and taking in the beautiful views too.



 After dinner, we went to Caleb's grandma's house where we spent that evening and the next day helping to sort through the house and pack up what we wanted from the house.

That evening we picked up Grandma Jeannette from her home and had dinner at his Aunt and Uncle's gorgeous home. It was wonderful to spend time with his grandma!

The next morning we woke up, went to church and flew home to see our babies. It was SO good to see them! San Francisco was a short, but necessary trip with a little fun mixed in. :)

I'm going to try and recap the other 3 mini-trips soon.

In other unrelated news,  I'm really excited about this marriage series that my sister and several other bloggers are doing. I think it's going to be a great series and I really enjoyed reading yesterday's posts. Obviously I'm a big fan and dedicated follower of Jenn's blog (I have been since the very beginning), but I'm also a new, big fan of Shay's blog. Shay is Sean Lowe's (last season of The Bachelor) sister. I already knew I liked Sean, but I may like his sister even more! I love that they are outspoken Christians!

Check out the marriage series if you haven't already.

LoveMarriage4

And in other totally unrelated news, while we were at the family cabin a few weeks ago, Nate and Amanda (Caleb's brother and sister-in-law) captured a few maternity shots of me. Nate and Amanda started a photography business a little over a year ago called The Shalom Imaginative and I think they are quite talented. :) It's a great perk to have photographers in the family! Here are just a few of my favorite shots:








Happy Spring everyone! I'm hoping to not be so absent from the blog this month. :)

About Me

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I am a daughter of the King. Saved by grace. Follower of Christ. I love my God and I believe that he is faithful and true to his word! I'm still figuring out and trying to follow his plan for my life. I am a wife to my best friend Caleb, a mother to my miracle babies (they are my greatest joy and challenge), a sister and best friend to 3 passionate women, and a daughter to 2 amazing parents that continue to teach me what it is to be real and faithful to God and his word. I am lucky to get to be a stay at home Mom (thanks to God's provision). I love music, singing, coffee, cooking, baking, traveling, our beautiful state of Colorado, and mostly being with the family and friends that I love!

Husband, Caleb

Husband, Caleb
Caleb is an amazing husband and father. He is always so good to me. He is my best friend. He is the romantic one. We love to laugh and spend time together. We've been married for 7 years and I just love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our 1st Miracle

Our 1st Miracle
Elliana Faith... God blessed us with our first miracle little girl in December 2008. She is sweet, smart, spunky, funny, strong willed, precocious, extremely outgoing, vocal and so full of life! She brings us so much joy.

Our 2nd Miracle

Our 2nd Miracle
Ethan James,.. God blessed us with our little boy in March 2011. Ethan was a bit of a surprise and an even bigger miraclle. Ethan is ALL BOY! He is very active, into sports and running around. He is also sweet, introverted, affectionate, and laid back. These days he often has us laughing, he's starting to show a little bit of "clown" in him. He makes our hearts happy too. :)

Our 3rd Miracle

Our 3rd Miracle
Emsley Jeannette... Our surprise baby girl was born on June 11th, 2013 and came into the world 4 weeks early. Her first 2 weeks of life were spent in the NICU, but due to God's hands and the prayers of many people, she grew quickly and came home to join our family! She is an easy, sweet baby and we are enjoying getting to know her personality.

Sisters

Sisters
We fight one day and then the next day we're fine. We're always loud and crazy when we get together. We're very passionate. We've been through it all together, lots of ups and downs. We're eachother's biggest supporters.

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