Last week the kiddos went to Worship Arts Camp at First Baptist Columbia! They had the absolute best time learning lots of new songs, playing the keyboard and chimes, taking a hip hop class, having lots of fun with friends, and learning how to be a light for Jesus! On Friday we got to attend the concert, and they all did such an amazing job! It was such a sweet week for them, and they are already asking about next year! Here is just a little snippet from the concert… enjoy!
A few months ago the kids were always arguing over who prayed first and last and whose turn it was to say the blessing, so I gave everyone two days of the week where they said the blessing and did our nighttime prayer before bed. Sarah Ann has Saturday and Sunday, Reece has Tuesday and Thursday, and Carson has Monday and Friday. No one had Wednesday when we set it up because that was the evening when we didn’t eat dinner together because of Awana and the kids often spent the night with my parents. But now little J and Jeffrey usually share Wednesdays!
I knew that I wanted to incorporate some chores into our summer routine, so I decided that I would stick with those days for kitchen chores as well. So now on the days that they pray, they also help in the kitchen. They help set the table, clear the table, wash the dishes, and get them into the dishwasher. They are great helpers! It isn’t always quicker and it sometimes make a mess, but they are learning and we are working together, so it’s been really good for everyone! They actually really look forward to their nights to help in the kitchen.
Since no one had Wednesday, we decided to make that day bathroom day. Sarah Ann cleans her bathroom upstairs, Reece cleans the boys’ bathroom, and Carson helps me clean the master bath. They sure know how to clean a mirror, and it makes cleaning the bathrooms much quicker for this Momma!
Each evening we also tidy up the living room and open areas of the house. Everything goes back to their rooms or back in the right spot in the living room. It’s just so nice to always go to bed knowing that we are starting with a cleaned up living space for the next day! And when we all work together it doesn’t take long at all! And lastly we’ve continued with our routine of cleaning the bedrooms and vacuuming on Sundays. I want them to play with their toys, use their imaginations, and make messes. So we decided last year that they would clean their rooms once a week. It took the frustration of messy rooms away from me, and it gives them more days in a row to play with things they have set up or created. Plus, they have learned that the bigger the mess the longer it will take to clean up, so they are slowly but surely learning to clean up when they are done with something to make their cleaning easier on Sundays.
We are now almost halfway through our summer, and they have been doing a great job! We’ve settled into a nice little summer routine and the chores just fall right in with our summer schedule. It’s definitely been a win-win for everyone, and I guess there are some perks to my babies growing up……
Today we celebrate you, Jeffrey! Thank you for leading us with love and grace. Thank you for always working hard and playing hard. Thank you for supporting us, providing for us, encouraging us, and spoiling us too! Thank you for guiding our home with the Gospel and always pointing us to Jesus! You are the most wonderful Daddy, and we are so very grateful for you! Happy Father’s Day! We love you!
We started off our day with a great morning at church, lunch at Daddy’s favorite restaurant, Outback, and then coming home to open a few surprises for our favorite guy! It was a laid back afternoon and evening with errands, theatre, leftovers for dinner, and catching up on some golf and “Little Big Shots.” A sweet and simple day, just the way Daddy prefers it!
“The happiest and holiest children in the world are the children whose fathers succeed in winning both their tender affection and their reverential and loving fear. And they are the children who will come to understand most easily the mystery of the fatherhood of God.” ~John Piper
After Wednesday night’s rain, we woke up to cool weather on Thursday morning. But it definitely didn’t stop us from making the most of the beach! Sarah Ann and Reece joined me for my morning run and after breakfast we loaded up and headed to the beach. It was a chilly and windy start, but when we the clouds broke through it turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day! We spent the morning play soccer, throwing a tennis ball, collecting shells, flying kites, and jumping in the waves before heading in for a late lunch. After lunch we spent the afternoon at the pool again. I’m pretty sure our crew had fins by the end of the week! Thursday evening we all dressed up a bit and went out to dinner at the Bonito Boathouse. It was an absolutely beautiful evening with lots of sweet family time! And then we ended another fabulous day at Fripp with a family basketball game, and the boys won! And everyone went to sleep very quickly that night!
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for our last full day at Fripp! Another great beach day–running, boogie boarding, snacking, building sand castles and forts, jumping in the waves, swimming in the ocean, playing lacrosse, throwing the football, talking, splashing, and smiling! It was so much fun! And if six hours at the beach still wasn’t enough, we spent another two hours at the pool too! Friday evening we cooked our final meal at the house, took a trip down to the beach for the sunset, played another family basketball game, and lit sparklers before bed! And we had some very sleepy kiddos that night! So much fun in the sun!
And Saturday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, packed up, and said goodbye to 13 Veranda Beach. We went to the activity center before we left to visit the animals again one more time. And after saying goodbye to Fripp Island, we stopped in Beaufort for a very delicious lunch, candy shopping, and playing on the playground at the waterfront park. The kids were awesome on the way home, and we didn’t have to stop at all. It was a smooth and quick ride back home! And while we were all sad to leave one of our favorite places, home is always a great place to be too! Until next year, Fripp! Thank you for the memories!
Tuesday morning brought lots of pool time at the Cabana pool. The kids went from pool to pool to pool, but the adults preferred the heated pool! After lunch we took a trip to the playground and then to collect shells at the beach. Aunt Melanie got all of the kids some adorable shell bags. The kids found lots of great shells, thanks to Daddy’s help! We made a stop for ice cream before heading back to the house to enjoy a little down time. Taco Tuesday even made it’s way to Fripp Island for dinner! And then we had a dance party with one awesome DJ while the rain came down outside. Sarah Ann and Reece also decided to take a late night swim before bed, just in case they hadn’t gotten enough swimming in yet!
Wednesday morning was cloudy and drizzly, but once again that didn’t stop Mommy’s little fish from swimming. We had the Olympic pool all to ourselves for about two hours! The sun came out for a bit, so we just kept on swimming! After a late lunch, we went to the activity center to make some sand art and pick out their newest Fripp stuffed animal to add to their collection. We went to the playground for a bit afterwards until the rain came back. And then we were all ready to spend some time relaxing and watching a movie! It was a nice and quiet afternoon! Jeffrey and little J made it back during dinner, and we were all happy to be under one roof again! It was a good ending to another great day on the island!
After Carson’s t-ball game last Saturday, we packed up the van and headed down 26 and 95 to one of our favorite South Carolina islands! We so love that we have found our own little paradise and wonderful place to vacation at right in our sweet state! Fripp has such a laid back feel, and while I still always have a plan, it is always so nice to slow down, soak up the long summer days, and enjoy family time together in the sun and sand!
We made a quick stop for lunch and groceries, and the kiddos were giddy with excitement! We were all so happy when we saw the Fripp Island sign and arrived at our home for the week! Saturday evening we unpacked, settled in, ordered pizza for dinner, took a golf cart ride around the island, and took a late night swim before bed!
Sunday morning we woke up to an absolutely beautiful day! We spent most of the day at the beach, and the kids spent most of their time riding the waves with their new boogie boards! After lots of time in the sand and sun, we took a quick trip back to the house for lunch and then went back to the beach! We built sandcastles and tunnels, played bocce ball and football, and spent lots of time swimming and relaxing! Sunday evening we had a delicious spaghetti dinner and then took a ride out to one of the points to see the sunset. We saw a lot of deer on our ride, and the kiddos loved using their cameras to take lots of pictures!
Monday brought lots more fun in the sun! We went to the Olympic pool before lunch to swim! The big kids swam all over the pool, jumped in the deep end over and over again, and played with their diving sticks. Carson loved getting to splash around with Annalee, and even started swimming underwater in the shallow end without his puddle jumper! He’s such a big boy! After heading back to the house for lunch, we loaded up all our beach gear and headed back to our beach spot for the afternoon! More snacking, collecting shells, riding the waves, and building in the sand…I’m pretty sure we could do this all day, every day! We love the beach life! Monday night was also our date night on the island, so all the grandkids had pizza and ice cream with Nanny and Pops! They also got to pick a new stuffed animal from the nature center, while Jeffrey, Jeremy, Melanie and I went down toward the marina to have dinner at the Bonita Boathouse. Dinner was delicious, and it was such a treat to enjoy a few quiet moments! We got caught in a rain shower on the way back, but it just added to the fun! And everyone, including the adults, were ready to get some sleep after another fabulous day at Fripp!
Since the big kids finished up school mid May and Carson only had a few days of preschool left, we kicked off our summer early and were able to visit some of our favorite places around town before they got too crowded! We went to the state museum, Waterfall Junction, Edventure, the zoo, and Saluda Shoals with some of our sweet friends! We also got all signed up for summer ready with the library and Lifeway, and the kids have been so good about getting their reading done and practicing their memory verses! The pool was also a great place to spend some of the hot May days! We got to attend a fun swimming party for our friend Caroline, swim in Nanny and Pops’ pool, and spend the morning at the pool with Lucy Mills and McClain! And of course, any time that we can spend with friends is always a treaty! And we definitely got our summer started off with lots of fun!
Each week this summer we are also doing a bit of school work to finish up our Writing with Ease and Spelling You See! The kids also got new Star Wars workbooks, and Carson has been flying through his numbers review! Sarah Ann and Reece also do one math lesson a week, so that we can bank up some days for the upcoming school year! We also read together, read independently and review our memory verses! And really, there’s no better way to spend the hottest part of the day. After J’s nap, we have a snack and do a little school work until it cools off a bit and we can go back outside!
Lastly each week the kids are also choosing a service project for us to do together. The first week we made cards for friends to send in the mail, and the next week we cleaned up trash at a nearby park. Sarah Ann also picked up lots of trash at the beach. This past week we made cookies to help with a bake sale for some of our friends who are raising money to adopt. We have a list of other service projects we are planning to complete, and I’m so thankful that we can all serve and share together.
I didn’t want to let this month end without acknowledging National Foster Care Month. When our family began the process last spring to become a foster family, I don’t think I could have ever imagined how hard and how beautiful this experience would be for our entire family. I have seen my babies struggle and serve and love and grow. I have never been more tired and more grateful. Jeffrey has continually given of himself over and over again to support, love, and lead us all. And A, T, and J have left imprints on our hearts and we will never, ever be the same. The days are full. The days are busy. The days are hard. But by His grace, we are making it. And some days we just survive, and some days we thrive. But through it all, we love and we learn. And while these sweet little ones might temporarily be in our homes, they will always be in our hearts. And we pray that above all, they know that Jesus loves them, and He will always be there. And that makes it all worth it!