Pumpkin Fun!

This past weekend we finally had some time to head to a pumpkin patch and let the boys pick a couple of pumpkins!  I absolutely LOVE fall!  This time of year just makes me happy ~ the colors, smells, cooler temps, the food ~ everything about it just makes it my fave!

Then last night we carved pumpkins with the big boys after the baby was in bed!  While we love Dylan so much, it's always fun to be able to spend time laughing and talking with the big boys without all the distractions that a busy toddler can bring! ;)


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
~ John 8:12 ~


Good in Goodbye?

I'm no good at goodbye's.  I can't stand them.  And living this lifestyle God has blessed me with?  well it means alot of goodbyes.  And i keep thinking i'll get better at it but not so much.  But the time has come to say another goodbye to another really good friend.  Every time i'm tempted to say it isn't fair, i go back to this......

In a bible study written especially for military spouses, called Hope for the Homefront, there is a chapter on the sacrifice of separation and author Marshele Carter Waddell ended with the question...What's so good about good-bye?? I'd just like to share a few of the answers she gave....

~It is good that we stop our frenzy of activity to express our appreciation for the comfort, the friendship, the support, the laughter, the tears, and the encouragement the person has added to our journey.

~Good-bye is good if it teaches us to cherish life and breath, strength and sound mind, and the moments we are allowed to walk side by side with a friend.

~Good-bye is good if, in that difficult moment, we stand still long enough to give thanks to God for the lessons we've learned together, the love given, and the love received, recognizing that these blessings are gifts from the hand of God.

This week i will say goodbye to my amazing friend Ashley.  I could go on and on but i think the word amazing is about as close as i can come to summing her up in words!  We've walked through tragedy together.  We've survived pregnancy in pensacola heat & held each other's newborn babies.  She's been with me every step of the way as our family faced three of the hardest years of my life & has been such an incredible encouragement.  While this goodbye stinks and i wish we could be together geographically forever, i'm so thankful for the friendship!

me, Ashley & Denae ~ Ash & I are sporting our baby bumps!

And so this week i will stop my frenzy of activity and do my best to express my appreciation for all that Ashley has added to my journey.  As i reflect on all that our friendship has seen the last several years, i will give thanks over and over for all the many blessings this friendship has brought into my life.  And i will always cherish the moments i've been allowed to walk side by side with Ashley.

going away ladies night! ~Ashley, Veronica, Lisa & me~

our little men w/ the "H" babies!

       Ashley ~ your friendship has been such a wonderful blessing the last 4 years.  God knows our needs even before we do, and He knew that i needed you!  Thank you so much for the laughs, the love, the encouragement, & prayer ~ every memory will be cherished!  I'm so excited for all that God has for you in the next chapter of your story and i can't wait to hear all about it!  Praying blessings abound as you get settled in your new home!  Fair winds & following seas "H" family ~ you're going to be so very missed!

us & the H's ~ one last dinner together!

So, yes!  It hurts.  It's hard.  But there is good in goodbye!  And i'm so very thankful that while miles may separate, they don't end a friendship!  I'm blessed to have friends all over the world and a life that is richly blessed by each of them!


Vacation ~ the rest!

I am going to just cram the rest of our trip into 1 post!  I've spent the last week really sick and i'm finally on the mend (w/ the help of a few meds!) but this means i'm behind on blogging!! seems to be the story of my life! ;)  *this post has been ready to post for a while now but i'm technologically challenged and don't have a clue how to get the rest of the pics off of my phone.... :/ one of these days i'll figure it out and add them but i don't want to wait anymore!*

When we left Dallas we headed south to San Antonio.  I grew up in a small town outside of San Antonio and have family & friends in that area so i was excited to see everyone!  First up was surprising the boys one more time!!  My dad (who lives in Montana) flew in to spend a few days with us and we kept it a secret!  We hadn't seen him in a couple of years and the boys LOVE their Papa!  They were so excited when they saw him at the hotel and it was lots of fun to surprise them!!
Papa & his boys!
me & my dad

After relaxing at the hotel for a couple of hours and catching up with Dad, we headed over to Meemi's (aka my grandma!) house for dinner.  She made one of my favorite meals which was a special treat!!  Here's where i have to tell you that i have no idea why, but i did a horrible job of taking pictures during the rest of our trip....:/ 

On Friday, we ventured out to Natural Bridge Caverns.  I'm claustrophobic which is seriously the most annoying thing to deal with.  But i made up my mind i was going to overcome it and i was going to do the cave tour with everyone.  So off i go, sleeping toddler in my arms and all.  And then? We rounded a corner and the walkway got really really small and my heart rate sky rocketed and i started to lose it.  I held it together the best that i could and my sweet hubby let the tour guide know that i couldn't go on.  I've never walked uphill w/ a 25lb toddler in my arms SO fast.  I don't even think i really starting breathing again until i was in open air.  MAJOR FAIL.  I don't think i'll try overcoming my claustrophobia again anytime soon!  But everyone else really enjoyed the tour! =)

before the tour!

inside the caves!

That evening we got to have dinner w/ some of our best friends that we met when stationed in Washington!  And now?  They are stationed in San Antonio!!  Which means we get to see them every time we visit home for the next few years!!  One of the many blessings of this military lifestyle!!  Crystal & Edgar's friendship is such a blessing ~ it was like no time had passed and we had such a great time!!

Saturday brought shopping w/ my bestie, Tracy which is always a great time!  We've been friends since 4th grade!!  Crazy how much we've been through together!!  That evening we had a mini high school reunion!  Without boring you w/ details, our 10yr didn't happen and so this was a very impromptu, informal little get together but it was alot of fun to see those that were able to make it!!

Sunday brought a short road trip up to Austin to see my Aunt, Uncle and their sweet girls!!  And it worked out perfectly that we were able to be there for the girls birthday party!  I totally took ZERO pics and i'm kinda mad at myself but it was a great party and we really enjoyed our time with them!

On Monday, we spent the day with my Mom, brother, & nephew!  We did lunch at a great mexican food place (you can't get mexican food like that in florida!) and then went to a favorite of ours, Green Acres!  There is goofy golf, bumper boats, arcade, go karts ~ ALL kinds of fun!!  But of course, the weather didn't cooperate so we just played in the arcade this time.  The little kids and big kids alike had a great time!! 

Tuesday we spent the day, just our family, at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch!  Its a drive through safari type of experience and its lots of fun!!  They also have a petting zoo and gift shop when you're done driving thru!  The boys had so much fun feeding and identifying the animals!  That evening the big boys spent the night at Meemi's house and hubby and I took the baby with us to meet some more military friends for dinner!  Peter & Megan prayed with us while we were trying for baby #3 and celebrated with us when we finally found out we were pregnant but left before Dylan was born, so it was fun for them to get to meet him!!

@ natural bridge wildlife rance

these ostrich's were jerks! they would stick their whole neck in your car!

this little goat LOVED brayden at the petting zoo! =)

these goats were so sweet!

me & littlest waiting on daddy & brothers at the petting zoo!

The next morning we said our goodbyes and headed to Yoakum, TX to visit hubby's family!  I literally took 1 picture the whole time we were there (oops!) but it was a great time of relaxation for hubby and me & the boys had tons of fun just being boys!  My in-laws have a huge, beautiful yard and my mother-in-law loves to catch bugs & frogs & do all kinds of fun boy things that i just cannot bring myself to do! ;)

This trip was such a blessing!  A much needed break away from the "giants" in life that we've been facing and a wonderful opportunity to see friends & family that we miss so much!  There were so many friends that we wanted to see, and we just couldn't fit it in, but hopefully next time!!

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
~ Psalm 5:11 ~


Vacation ~ Dallas!

The first part of our vacation was all about the big boys!  We didn't have a birthday party for them this year and instead surprised them with this trip!!  It was alot of fun to plan and to surprise them with!!  We headed out on a saturday, drove to Shreveport, La and stayed the night.  It was easily the worst night we've had with Dylan in his 14 months of life.  I seriously thought we were going to have to find an ER ~ he just wouldn't stop screaming! CRAZY!  But after a couple of hours he finally fell back asleep.  Not the best start but we were determined to have fun, exhausted or not! 

The next morning we drove the rest of the way into Dallas!  We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine and it was fantastic!!  The front desk staff was amazing and totally went out of their way to get us into our room early which was a huge blessing because we had tickets to Medieval Times for that evening!  The big boys LOVE Medieval Times and we enjoy it as well! 

excited to be there finally!!

@ medieval times

On Monday, we did some shopping during the day and had to hit up Trader Joe's to stock up on a sinful little obsession of mine called cookie butter.  There isn't a Trader Joe's near us so i had to be sure to hit 'em up while i could!  have you had this stuff??!! 

 It's so good!  I totally blame Erin @ Bringing up Burns for this addiction of mine! (by the way....i can't believe i'm lucky enough to call Erin my friend cause she is AMAZING and i LOVE her and you should totally head over and check out her blog!  you'll be hoping you can call her friend one day too!!  she's really THAT amazing!)

After shopping, we just spent the rest of the day playing at the waterpark back at Greatwolf!

these two LOVED these slides!

still not so sure about all this water everywhere.... :)

On Tuesday, we had tickets to do a tour of the Cowboys stadium!  Colby & Brayden LOVE the Cowboys. (as do we!)  And i'm sure you're aware that being a Cowboys fan isn't the easiest job right now but they are dedicated and unwavering! The tour was so fun and informative!!  That stadium is huge and amazing!  The boys were just in awe standing in the locker room and on the field!  Made me smile SO big to know they were enjoying it so much!!

this little guy loves the cowboys too! =)

they took pictures by all of their fave players lockers!

dylan LOVED running around the field! he wasn't having anymore of his shoes being on.... {sigh}  

Colby wants to be a kicker! =)

brothers & best buddies!

my heart. geez i love these three!

Then of course it was back to the hotel for more waterpark play!  Dylan wasn't too sure about the water at first but he slowly warmed up to it!

Wednesday we didn't leave the resort all day!  We played at the waterpark.  Went to the arcade.  Played at the waterpark some more.  Played MagiQuest.  Just had fun and did what we wanted, when we wanted!!
colby on the lily pads ~ he loved this!

brayden's favorite was the pool basketball!

all my guys! colby's face cracks me up! he must have made the shot!! =)

daddy and little man!

dylan would have rode in this little thing ALL night!

about to cash in!

Our time in Dallas was refreshing and fun!!  John and I so needed that time away from all of the pressure and hard "stuff" we've been facing to just enjoy our boys and have a good time!  We did leave Greatwolf with 2 injuries ~ Dylan fell in the arcade and busted his face and Brayden fell in the waterpark and whacked his hip bone on the edge of a stair (OUCH!!) ~ but with 3 crazy boys i'm calling that a win!! ;) 

Next up ~ we headed to San Antonio to visit family and surprise the boys one more time!!!  Back to share about it soon!!

Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made
 him glad with the joy of your presence.
~Psalm 21:6~


For Shane & Danielle

I'm not sure if i've ever even mentioned it here, but i do know that i have not let everyone here in on my absolute LOVE for all things Big Brother!  I love everything about it and it is an absolute dream of mine to be in that house one summer!! (i will be applying and trying soon!) 

BUT i do have to get some things off my chest and since this is my little space in the great big wide world of the internet, i'm going to do it here.  there are some seriously hateful people in this world and this isn't new news to me.  but just because it exists doesn't mean i'm going to stand for it or be okay with it.  the kinds of things that are being said about and done to Danielle from this summer's season of big brother just aren't okay.  So here is my letter of love and encouragement to both Shane & Danielle...

Thank you both so much for who you were in the big brother game this summer.  You were fun to watch and you stayed true to who you are which was refreshing!  Of course you weren't perfect ~ nobody is.  But even in your mistakes, and since the show has ended, you have handled yourselves with grace.  You have huge hearts of gold and are both beautiful, on the inside and out!  You don't deserve a single bit of what is being handed to you in the form of hate right now but you are glowing examples of Jesus's love in the way you are handling it all.

I pray nothing but the best for you as you move forward and i will join you in praying for those who are so full of hate as to do and say the things they are to you.  Be proud of who you are and know that there are plenty of supporters who are rooting for and cheering you on!!  I wish i could make you guys a meal, laugh with you, and give you each a HUGE hug of encouragement but since that isn't likely, i hope if you ever read this that you are encouraged!

Love & Blessings~

WHEW.  I feel better.  I hope they do read this but am realistic enough to guess they most likely won't.  But i had to say it.  Had to get if off my chest.  And have to say that i truly feel sorry for the people who are throwing all the hate at these two ~ you have to be a very unhappy person to find any worth in being so disgusting to another person.  And thats all.  for now. =)

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
~2 Corinthians 1:3-4~


We're Still.....

....on vacation!!  And i totally planned on posting during the trip but forgot the cord i need to upload pics to the laptop so....just thought i'd check in real quick! 

We are enjoying our time away.  Traveling with 3 kiddos certainly isn't the same relaxation that vacations used to be but it sure is fun!  I've been sick which certainly isn't very fun but for the 1st time in a couple days, i'm fever free so we're hoping i'm on the mend.  We are with hubby's family now and its nice to have some help with the boys for a few days!  (like right now, my mil has all 3 of them and i'm a little lost in such quiet!!) ;) 

Hope everyone is enjoying this more fall(ish) weather!!  Be back next week with pics and tales of all the fun we've been having! =)

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring."
~Proverbs 27:1~