Quotable Quotes

There are just some conversations you want to document forever. This was one of them.

After we read our Bible last night, the girls ran to their room, and Justus grabbed my face and said:

mom, if I disobey, does Jesus stop loving me?

I reassured him that no, Jesus never stops loving him. He asked again a few more times and then said:

“if I don’t tell the truth, will he make me disappear?

I have no idea where that came from! The thoughts of a three year old =)

He doesn’t quite get the concept that the baby Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas grew up, became a man, died on the cross, and rose again. I just recently discovered he thinks baby Jesus is still a baby and it was a different Jesus who died on the cross and yet a different Jesus who is in heaven. (we are working on correcting that perception!)

“mom, was the baby Jesus in the big man Jesus’ tummy?”

He also doesn’t yet get that the cross was a one time event. He was always begging to go back stage to see the cross all the time. I finally figured out that he doesn’t want to miss the next time Jesus is on the cross!

Our Disney Surprise

This is the video I promised!  Last Monday morning, we woke the kids up and then told them we were going to go to Disney World for the week.  We left the house to drive to the airport an hour after we told the kids. They had absolutely no idea and were incredibly excited.  Warning…you’ll hear plenty of high squeals and screams during the video =)

 

 

Disney Day 3

We headed back to the Magic Kingdom for day 3. The focus of this day…to see everything we didn’t see on day one and to ride again all the favorites.

When we first walked into the park, we saw Snow White!  She was just getting set up so there wasn’t a line, and we were able to get hugs and autographs right away.

On day one, we didn’t really see any of the Disney entertainment you hear about all the time.  This time, we got to experience it all.  You couldn’t walk down main street without seeing bands or dancers or some sort of entertainment.  And most of them stopped to talk to the kids!

And the classic picture in front of the castle

We then went to all the rides in Fantasy Land that we didn’t get to on the first day.

One of my favorite pictures of the day.  Such pure excitement that they just started giggling, hugging, and jumping up and down

We made it a point to see most of the princesses today.  I’ll be honest.  I was a little concerned with how much Justus tried to flirt with the princesses! =)

Then we were off to see the treehouse from one of our favorite movies, Swiss Family Robinson

And then we rode The Magic Carpet Ride.  I have a video I’ll try to post soon of Justus singing the songs from Aladin.  He goes to sleep, wakes up, and walks through his entire day singing “A Whole New World”.  Needless to say, the fact that he got to ride a magic carpet like Aladin just about made his year.

The cousins got to be even better friends than before.  Its so fun to watch them grow up and just truly love each other.

Guess what the favorite ride was?

And finally a picture with all the cousins together!

We also got to meet Chip and Dale

And rode the Tomorrow Land Speedway cars again

This was the team in my car.  Justus was the driver and Elliana controlled the gas pedal.  It was a bumpy ride full of laughter.   Even the cars passing us were taking pictures  =)

Another favorite of the day was Mickey’s PhilharMagic.  The kids are still asking how the water came off the screen and sprayed our faces!

Then it was time to wait in line to see some princesses.  Remember what I said about Justus and the princesses?

Here is he showing Cinderella his muscles

Here he is enjoying a hug from Belle.  I wish you could see his grin!

And here he is reaching up to sneak a kiss from Aurora

Lucky for him, Aurora thought it was funny and kissed him back

After all that kissing, we got to see another parade!  The kids got high fived by all their favorite characters and loved every minute of it.

After a few rides, some snacks, and the parade, we went back to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  I mean, you can’t leave Disney World without meeting the big man himself!

We completely wore the kids out!  Elliana and Justus both fell asleep on the bus on the way back to the resort.

But that didn’t stop us from throwing their swim suits back on them and letting them have one last fun afternoon in the pool.

Justus actually won this game!

It was such a fun 3 days in Disney World!  Just the perfect amount of time to experience it and then get home before everyone completely falls apart from exhaustion.  We are so thankful for my sister’s family and for their invitation to come with them on such an amazing vacation!  This is one we won’t ever forget!

Disney Day 2

Our second day was spent at Animal Kingdom.  This day may have been my favorite day of the trip.

Did you notice Elliana’s pouty face?  Yes, she really showed off those amazing pouty lips in most of the morning pictures.

We started off the morning going to the African Safari.  AMAZING is all I can say.  We all just loved it.  Here we are waiting in line.  We woke the little man up earlier this day, and so he was awake and happy!  Yay!

Justus insisted I put this one on the blog.  He is still talking about how the animals kept showing us their bottoms.  (insert giggle here)

After the Safari, you can walk through a zoo like observatory.  Elliana is fascinated with bones, and so she loved all the skeletons of the animals.  I don’t think she gets that skeletons are dead animals, and I surely wasn’t going to be the one to tell her.  For now, she just thinks bones are cool =)

 

After all that riding and walking, the kids thought they needed a big snack to tide them over until lunch.  I tried to sway them towards the bananas or apples, but when they saw these huge pretzels, they wanted nothing else.

After our snack break, we went to go see The Lion King.  I was so excited to see this!  Even though the kids didn’t know we were going to Disney until the day we left, we have been silently preparing them for the trip.  We borrowed most of the Disney movies from a friend and The Lion King was one of the favorites among the kids.  They know all the songs and talk about the movie constantly.

And since Elliana had suddenly decided to try smiling again, I had to snap a picture of the two of us! (Sidenote..some adult who wasn’t thinking said something along the lines of “oh, look at her teeth.  She’s going to need braces”  Now my 5 year old rarely smiles with her mouth open.  Think before you speak people!)

The show was amazing!  And even more amazing was the fact that we got to see Minnie Mouse right after the show!

Doesn’t Minnie’s face just make you smile?!

At some point during this day, we realized we should have brought a double stroller.  Instead, one of the girls was on my back, one on Brent’s shoulders, and Justus was in the stroller.  Fun times.

Outside the Rain Forest Cafe, there was a huge fountain that had an elephant “spitting” water.  Just look at how much fun it is to stand in the elephants “spit”.

After lunch, we went to the kiddie rides for a bit, and then Brent and I took turns riding Everest.  That’s Brent in the very front of the ride on the right!  Everest has a single rider option which allowed us to not wait in line.  Brent went straight to the front of the line, rode the ride, and then came and got the kids, and then I went on.  In about 10 minutes, we were done!  Beats waiting in line together for 45 minutes =)  It was amazing and the only “big person” ride we rode this trip.

After Brent and I finished dragging our kids around to do big people things, we took them back to the pool.  They absolutely LOVED swimming every day.  Avery and Sidney are two little fish and had a blast choreographing water routines, learning new tricks, and giggling together.  Justus was my little dare devil which meant it quickly became a rule that he must have a life jacket on at all times. Elliana wore a life jacket the first day and then insisted that she was big enough to swim.  And sure enough, she swam!  She also participated in EVERY game the resort people had.   She won a little plastic duck at one of the games, and she is now inseparable from that duck! Every evening when it was time to get out to eat, all three of my kids would be in tears because they didn’t want to leave the pool.

Let’s just say that at the end of this day, the kids had no trouble falling asleep that night!

Disney Day 1

Day 1 was Magic Kingdom Day!  So much fun.

We were there before the park opened so we got to see the opening show.  I cried.  Yes, cried.  I was holding Justus and when the train pulled up and he saw Mickey and starting jumping in my arms screaming, “its Mickey!  its really Mickey!” and waving his chubby little 3 year old arm, I started crying.   We’ll just say it wasn’t the only time during the day I teared up watching my kids and their joy.

We attempted to get a pic with all the kids in front of the castle.  See grouchy pants on the far right?  He wasn’t having any of that smiling business.  At least not yet.

We spent the majority of the morning in Fantasy Land riding all the fun rides there.  The teacups, Dumbo, the Carousal, the Barnstormer Roller Coaster…we rode them all and we learned that Avery DOES NOT like rollar coasters, and Elliana could ride them all day long if we let her.   And by all day long, I mean, hands raised, screaming at the top of her lungs, and immediately asking to ride the ride again.  I love that girl’s love for life!

By about midmorning, I started to see Justus’ personality begin to emerge again.  We are waking that kid up way early in the morning so by the time we get to the park, he will be fun.  It took him 3 hours before he really woke up!

On our way to The Crystal Palace for lunch, we stopped and rode Buzz Lightyear.  I think that was my favorite of the day!  So much fun!!

And my favorite picture of the day….

After lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends, Elliana got delivered a birthday surprise complete with a card signed by Tigger, Pooh, Eyore, and Piglet!

We then went to dance a bit in a parade

Wave our hardest to get Minnie to see us

And then latch onto Uncle Mark the whole way to the bus and back to the room.  See what Uncle Mark has in his hands?  Pink Cotten Candy.  He was like the Pied Piper leading all our kids from the park.  Its amazing the power of a little processed sugar =)

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the wonderful pool at the resort.  This place is amazing by the way.  It was just a perfect day.

I feel like I just used a lot of exclamations points in this post, but seriously, that may be the only punctuation that truly describes the day.  The whole day is one big exclamation point!!!!!  Now to go shower and go to sleep.  Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom day.  Can’t wait!

A Week of Vacation

My parents don’t come to visit very often, but when they are here, life is just about perfect. My dad had some business down here, so we got lucky and got my parents in town for a whole week! We had a blast pretending we were all on vacation.

We spent time at the zoo

 

We also visiting the jump house

And no visit is complete without a stop at Babes to dance the hokey pokey and to eat some good fried chicken.

Dad’s birthday was a few days later, so we celebrated his birthday with some yummy chocolate cake!

Then the kids took turn saying why they loved Grandpa

Avery: “Because he tries to get my sugar”

Elliana: “Because he loves me and is so kind”

Justus: “Because he wrestles me and plays with me”

They stayed a little late on Saturday so they could see Avery doing her cheerleading thing.  She was so happy they were there!

Justus had the hardest time saying good bye. I think he chased after their car 3 different times to get more hugs. After we said a final last sad good bye to them in the parking lot, we got into the car and felt like this

 

We LOVED spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa! Thanks for coming and playing and just loving on us. We all feel so incredibly blessed to have had you here!

Memorable Moments

Avery has been participating in the Upwards Cheerleading program at a local church.  She has really enjoyed it and I wanted to make sure and capture some of the fun she is having.  This video is during the “half time performance”

 

 

Its Been a Bit Quiet

Maybe you’ve noticed I haven’t really posted in a while?  At least not with the frequency I used to.  To be honest, I’m not quite sure what to do with this blog.  Its been a good outlet for me for the past 5 years, but I think my blogging days are going on a hiatus for a bit.

I’m not sure how long the hiatus will be, but for now, I’m off line for awhile.

Well, let me clarify.  I LOVE to read, so I’ll still post the occasional book review so I can still get the free books, but other than that, I’m taking a break.  And I already took the site down from facebook, so no more facebook updates from the blog.

So for all of you who have read, commented, encouraged, and loved on me through this blog over the years, THANK YOU!!!  Your encouragement has meant so much to me!

Keep chasing God with everything you are and remember, obedience to Him is ALWAYS the best option.

Until next time…..

Kari

 

Book Review

The Final Summit by Andy Andrews was a refreshingly fun fiction book to read over the holidays.  Thomas Nelson publishing sent me a copy in exchange for a review right before I left for vacation, and I’m so glad they did!

The book is the second book in a series, but you don’t have to read book one to understand this book.  The story centers around the character David Ponder and his quest to help save mankind.   The intense plot structure combined with the historical figures and discussions  make this novel one that is hard to put down.

The only down side to this book is how Andrews portrays God.  I’ve heard Andrews speak before. and he speaks more as a self-help guru than a Christian inspirational speaker.  His book is written in much the same language.  While it is classified as a Christian novel, it does not portray God as an all-knowing, sovereign  God, but rather as one who is dependent on man to find the right answer to alleviate God’s frustration.    This inaccurate portral in a Christian fiction book nearly drove me crazy; however, I still enjoyed the overall storyline.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, click here.

We Made It Home

Two incredible weeks of vacation at my parent’s house in Iowa.  I truly feel like a new woman after the rest we got while up there!   Twenty-one people, eleven of whom are children, all staying under one roof, and I absolutely LOVED it.

The kids did great.  Well, except for a couple few incidents by little man.  We learned he liked switches as we woke up on morning to a freezing cold house because he turned off the heat the day before, and one morning my dad had a cold shower because Justus turned off the water heater.  Luckily, my parents are gracious and laughed at my son’s energy =)

Some people go to a beach to get away and relax.  We go to Iowa.  There is just something about being surrounded by family who loves you that just allows all the stress of the world to go away.  Thanks mom and dad for letting us crash at your place for two weeks!

 

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