Sunday, December 27, 2009

Washington D.C. with the Clark's

Today the girls and I had the pleasure of visiting my very dear friends Dawn & Dale and their children.

On a whim our families decided it would be neat to check out the White House and Downtown D.C. while it was still decorated for Christmas.

I have never been to D.C. and I have to tell you I can't wait to go back!!! And a return trip in definitely in the making.

But at least for now, I have my memories and of course these pictures :~)

My girls

My Madison is so special that a street was named after her in D.C.

My girls and their cherished friends Autumn and Kya

Me and my girls...

Below are just a few more highlights of the great trip to D.C.....

Saturday, December 26, 2009


It was 7pm. We had been driving 15 hours and we were now in VA...almost to PA.

And low and behold the kids (I mean Steph and I) had to PEE (AGAIN!)

So we pulled over (for the 18th time) at none other than McDonald's!

And guess what we saw?????? SNOW!!!!

Madison is so eager to touch, hold and throw some white cold SNOW!!! That she could care less about going pee.

Sadie too is in her Glory. This is exactly what she came for!!! I'm not sure if she ever peed either. BUT she did touch herself some snow for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER!!!

On the road....

We set out to leave at 4am this morning!

My sister and I planned this trip for months. We were prepared, we were organized, we were packed, we were eager, and we were READY to conquer the simple task of driving an estimated 18 hours with 5 children between the ages of 2 and 7...

The alarm went off promptly at 3:30am. We hopped out of bed ~called one another~ poured our gallon size travel coffee mugs and we were on the road by 4am as planned. YAY!

BUT....we didn't actually get off Torino (the main road in our neighborhood) due to technical difficulties until 5am.

So although an hour behind schedule we set off once again with 5 of our kiddos, 4 (working) DVD players, 4 DS's, 1 MP3. 1 ipod and 2 CD players. Not to mention a enough food to feed a small village and the entire Audio Left Behind Series.

Oh we also had "when in doubt" chewable benedryl~ just in case the kids NEEDED to sleep.

We were set!!!

Here is Chason just 30 minutes into the trip (NO benedryl was needed :)

Here is Coral just 30 minutes LEFT in the trip (again, no benedryl was needed :)

This girl tried like a ROCK STAR to make the whole journey. Her body just gave up at the very end.

Sadie, Madison and Canyon all took short cat naps throughout the journey. But for the most part all of the kids were just way too eager and excited to sleep.

We were officially on the road at 5am and we safely arrived at our destination at 9:45pm. Almost 17 LONG hours and our crew were such unbelievably GREAT travelers I would do it again 100 times in a heartbeat. NOTHING could have been more perfect about this journey....except our husbands and Ethan joining us. Maybe next time.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

At 8:00am this morning we woke ~YES, we WOKE~ our children up.

And this what they rest of the day looked like...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve this year with my parents as Tradition would hold but nothing was "traditional" about the evening.

In fact, it was an evening full of new beginnings, new memories and new traditions!!!

For starters ~ we'll start with the best instead of saving it for last ~ my sister, her husband and their 3 children all celebrated Christmas in Florida for the first time EVER! What an amazing treat it was to have 6 children around the table, around the tree and around each other. Truly a special special treat!!!

The night was full of fun as we played games like, Twister, White Elephant and playdoh.

We laughed, we cried, we opened presents, we ate....Oh did we EAT!

We "traditionally" have Ribeye Roast for Christmas Eve dinner but this year Brian made Lamb Chops on the grill and my momma ~with the help of her 6 Elves ~ (Sadie, Ethan, Madison, Coral, Canyon and Chason) made all the scumptious side dishes. And man oh man were they YUMMY!!! Even 2 year old Chason enjoyed the feast.

The night couldn't have been any more perfect!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas

So here we are – the end of yet another year and the start of yet another Christmas letter. 2009 has been full of challenges, triumphs, changes, struggles and blessings overflowing. Where oh where do I begin? I guess it’s always fun to start with the kids so let’s begin there.

Sadie –oh my girl- Sadie. She has gone all of 2009 without breaking a bone, having a surgery or visiting the ER and she has had only a few colds. This isn’t just MAJOR for my girl ~it’s a MIRACLE!! So we are indeed rejoicing! She is doing well in 2nd grade and loving her new school. She just completed another year of gymnastics and plans to add softball to her athletic career this Spring. This petite ~ weighing it at just 37 pounds ~ 7 year old little lady proudly carries a smile ~ missing 7 teeth  ~ that manages to light up every room when she walks in ~EVERYTIME. She is spunky and FULL of life!!

Ethan is – ALL BOY - and very quickly turning into a young man on me. He loves football, fishing, hiking, camping and now hunting. He is Brian’s right hand. He is driven, ambitious, serious, confident, sincere and a man’s man. Brian has taught him that vegetables aren’t food they are what “food” eat. Brian has also taught him that Hannah Montana is lame and that the Disney Channel is for girls. And while he is serious about those things he has also taught Ethan that being a man of God with character, integrity and values is more important than any of the above.

Madison - our precious precious -Madison. She is still very much our “Hollywood”. She is one of those kids that you can tell EXACTLY what and how she is feeling based off of her current emotion. And her emotion can change literally without notice. She can go from a deep belly laugh to an inconsolable cry without hesitation and vice versa. Those of you who have seen it ~ know ¬this girl has talent.  She too is loving her new school and doing very well in 1st grade. She is making many friends. She is loving and motherly. Tender and genuine and she loves with her whole being.

As for Brian and I - we celebrated 15 years of marriage this past May. Brian took me to Jamaica for a week and we had a wonderful 2nd Honeymoon.

In August Brian and I went on a mission trip to Peru where we ministered to the locals through an English camp and sought to meet the basic needs of the people in Lima. It was an amazing journey and one that stretched, tested and grew my faith in ways indescribable and so it will always be a cherished season for me. We are eagerly anticipating the day we bring the children with us.

But for now, we feel lead to be “missionaries” right here in PSL. And we are trusting in the Lord as He continues to direct our paths…

More to come in 2010 ~ in the meantime you can see what the Lord is doing in our life through our family blog and also on Facebook. The blessings (or curses) of modern technology. 

Wishing you and your family a truly Merry CHRISTmas and a Blessing filled 2010.

All our love,
Brian, Jennifer, Sadie, Ethan and Madison

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Canyon

Today we celebrated my nephew Canyon's 5th birthday!!

It was a TON of fun - and - this is the first year EVER since my niece and nephew were born that we have had the privledge of celebrating each of their birthday's with them.

Such a treat!!!

I am still sooo sooo thankful my sister and her family have moved to FL.

Canyon we hope your birthday was everything and more you hoped it would be. We love you TONS AND TONS!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Deck The Halls

Those of you that know Brian and I ~know we LOVE to decorate for Christmas.

You might even say we kind of go overboard a *little*. It takes Brian 5 days (with help) just to decorate the outside of our home and then about another 3 days to decorate the inside of the house. We just LOVE LOVE LOVE to go all out for Jesus' Birthday.

This year though Christmas kind of snuck up on us and between our schedules, the weekend rain, and the (un)avaialability our elves (helpers) our home is NOT decorated this year. It hardly even feels like Christmas without the 10,000 light display you can see from outter space.

Thankfully though we did manage to get our 2 Christmas trees decorated.

And once the baking starts, the family arrives and the Celebration of our Redeemer's birth begins we won't even miss the "stuff".

Merry Christmas to you and yours and our prayers for a Happy, Healthy and Blessing filled New Year.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dolphins Vs Patriots

Today Ethan got to experiernce his first Professional Football Game. We were blessed with club tickets in the end zone for the Fins vs Pats game.

Nothing could have made this day more perfect. Ethan got to tail gate, meet LOTS of fun fans, dress like a FINS player, buy his first jersey and then ~to top it off~ he got to see the FINS WIN!!! It was an AWESOME game, a beautiful day and a pricless memory.

Of course I have pictures to prove it :-)

Did you catch the last picture? My boy PASSED OUT in the back seat of the car before we were even out of the stadium parking lot!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our "Heaven" on Earth

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sadie looses ANOTHER tooth

We're up to 7 poor teeth that have ripped, yanked, twisted, turned and pulled out of her mouth and turned into none other than mom and dad for some cold hard CASH!!!

It's such a common occurrence here at this house that she didn't even tell me this time.

(Hence the missing graphic pictures)

She just pulled it out and proudly brought it to me in the palm of her hand.

She is such a pro that other Mom's have asked Sadie to pull out their kids teeth.

Oh how my kids find the strangest ways to make me proud.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Ethan

My boy is 7! How is the world did that happen???

And a "boy" is NOT at all what he is anymore :(. Brian has successfully turned him into a Man's MAN!

The boy likes hunt, fish, camp, hike, play ball (all sports with a ball!), work hard, eat meat and burp! (Way to go Brian :~)

But my kind, loyal and tender hearted gentleman he'll always be!

Happy birthday to the only other "man" in my life who has the power to make me laugh, make me cry and make my heart skip a beat. I love you precious one with my whole heart!