IMG_5063My daughter turned 7 last week.  She wanted a gymnastics party with her friends.  I had no idea how to throw a gymnastics party.  Turns out if you invite 10 gymnasts over to your house, you don’t have to do anything to turn it into a gymnastics party.  They do it themselves. 

We picked the girls up from practice and brought them to our house for the party. Minutes after walking in the door, they were on the bar downstairs, then the trampoline, then doing their routine in the back yard. 

In the midst of the all that flipping, they also ate, tie dyed and played a messy game with cones and icing.




Cartwheel once again proved her awesomeness when she made an appearance and then tolerated being passed around from one giggling girl to the next.


Seriously, look at that cat’s face?  That look says it all.  Yet she didn’t flinch once… she let every single girl hold her.

World’s Best Cat.  right there.

Since the birthday girl doesn’t care for cake, we opted for an ice cream sundae bar.  Fun and sooo much easier than baking and decorating a cake.


We had a great time, with all of her cousins joining in the fun.  Judging by the smile on her face all evening, I think she enjoyed her special day.  Happy 7th Birthday sweet girl.  You are a ray of sunshine!


1o years ago Scott and I went before our church and made a commitment before God to raise our son as a disciple of our Lord Jesus Chris.  Father’s day weekend, 2004, we rejoiced with our congregation as he was baptized.  This was not a sign of our sons salvation.  It was the sign of God’s promise to save and cleans sinners who call upon Him.  Our son was not saved, but we rejoiced in the seal representing God’s power to save.  In June 2004 our son was accepted into our church family to be raised as a disciple in the community of believers.


This weekend, we watched our saved son go up before that same congregation and make a public profession of his faith.  Our son has accepted the promise and this weekend he was recognized as a full member of our church.


What a blessed experience!


I remember vividly when he was four years old and he first told us that he had asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins.  We had prayed with him before bed and I prayed something to the effect of, "please draw him closer to you, help him to know you as a his Savior and to seek to glorify you with his life."  After saying Amen, he said, "Why do you pray that every day?"  We answered, because that is our hearts BIGGEST desire.  We want nothing more than for him to know Jesus as his Savior.   He replied, "I do.  I prayed to Jesus one night in bed.  I told him I was sorry for my sins and asked him to be my Savior.  You don't need to keep praying for that."

Since then I have truly seen God at work in his heart and life.    He is far from perfect.  But, I see a genuine desire to glorify God with his life.  And nothing, nothing gives me more joy than to see my child walking with the Lord.

3 John 1:4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

My heart was so full this weekend and adding to that precious experience was the fact that our extended family came to witness the event.  As we filled two pews with grandparents, uncles, aunt and TONS of cousins, my heart was overflowing with gratitude.  What a blessing to be able to raise my children in an extended family of believers.  What a blessing to know that not only Scott and I are praying for and seeking to model Christ to our kids, but their entire extended family is as well.

Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.


The last true day of our vacation (the day before we headed home) was in my opinion the most relaxing day of the week.

We slept in, ate breakfast, (the kids did the dishes), and then we headed out for a morning hike along the beach.


The tide was out and we discovered many living creatures in tide pools on the rocky beach




We made our way to the other side of the island and even caught a glimpse of the Boston skyline.   The kids enjoyed splashing in the water and skipping rocks.


Then we headed back to the beach we spent the afternoon at the day before, stopping for a picnic  lunch (and some sword fighting) along the way. 


We spent the rest of the day camped out along the shore. 


The kids had the most incredible time digging, throwing rocks and balancing a board on a giant rock.  They pretended they were surfing.  When they started the tide was low and they could easily get to the rock.  As the tide slowly came in, Scott would go out and haul the rock closer to shore for them.  He did this at least 6 times.  If he hadn’t by the time the tide came in, they would have been in over their heads if they wanted to stand on the rock.  I couldn’t believe how long this entertained them. 


Surfing, watching each other surf…. I read an entire book during those 2 days.  And Scott enjoyed a book as well.  We snacked on grapes and pistachios, feet in the sand, listening to the kids giggle while we read.


Folks…. it was a TRUE VACATION DAY!

Then when we were hungry, I ran up to the campsite and gathered food while Scott and our oldest built us a fire.  We cooked dinner over the fire, then roasted marshmallows and then when we were ready for bed, we cleaned up and headed back to our tent. IMG_4997IMG_5000


I couldn’t have asked for a better day! 

It shouldn't shock me, but yet it does.  How completely DIFFERENT each of my children are.  Their personalities are so unique, it truly amazes me.

Take my youngest.

Oh my goodness... he is such a goof ball, and a FLIRT, but I'll save that for another post...

Here the kids are in Boston.

"Kids, get together so mom can get a picture of the four of you by the fountains."

And he does this....

After our rain delay/rain out, we finally made it to Peddocks Island… one day late.  After hiking the LONG hike uphill to our site, I am so glad we didn’t attempt it during the torrential rainstorm.

It was a big enough hassle getting our stuff from the van to the ferry, off the ferry, on to the other ferry, off that ferry, and then up the long hike up hill to our site… but the weather was gorgeous.  And once we were there and set up, it was pretty much perfect.

If you ask the kids, they will all unanimously agree that camping on the island was there favorite part of their vacation.  I honestly liked the whole week for different reasons, but it was a truly relaxing and fabulous way to finish out the week.

After setting up camp, we explored the old army fort.  We got an awesome, private tour from the island historian.  Then we walked down to the beach and camped out for the rest of the day.  The kids happily played in the sand, rocks, and water, while Scott and I read books.  Then when we felt like it, we went up to our site and grabbed the fixings for dinner and made a campfire dinner back down on the beach.  After making smores, we went back up the hill lit with fireflies and snuggled up in the tent, each with a lantern and a book.



This truly was her happy place.  This is my child, who LOVES LOVES the feel of dirt and sand on her skin.  She always has.  She spent hours laying in the dirt and digging without a care in the world.  I loved watching her.



Ahhh……. it was perfect. So many wonderful memories, so many wonderful moments just enjoying each other.


The plan for today was to wake up and prepare to catch a ferry to Boston Harbor Island to begin the camping portion of our vacation.

However, we woke to this.


And after checking the weather saw that the day was going to be off and on rain showers for the remainder.  This seemed like less than an ideal setting to haul all our camping gear onto a ferry, off a ferry, onto another ferry, to our campsite AND THEN set up a tent… a tent with a screen roof none the less.  So, we opted to stay another night in our hotel and spend another day visiting Boston.

We drove into the city intending to find some Boston Baked Beans for lunch.  However, we couldn’t find parking anywhere close to the restaurant so instead we visited the ducks.  This was a cool bonus perk for me as I wanted to see this if we had time, but then had taken it off  the agenda.


Since we learned yesterday that parking garages were out of the question, and street parking seemed hard to locate in downtown Boston, we decided to drive back out of the city and ride the T in.  We also figured the kids would enjoy that experience.

We were right.  They LOVED riding the train.  The joy and enthusiasm on my little guys face was priceless.  And almost all of them said it was their favorite part of the day.


We rode into the city and then walked around the downtown district.  We saw a few street performers, splashed in some puddles, and Scott and the kids bought me flowers for my birthday from a flower stand and then we set off to find some Boston Baked Beans.


Then we splashed in some more puddles and enjoyed an evening stroll in the city.


We decided to put to test out which bakery we preferred… Mike’s Pastry’s from last night or Modern Pastry… we ordered our dessert to go and found a table with a magnificent view for the kids to sing me Happy Birthday and enjoy our dessert.  Then we rode the T back to our hotel.


It really was a wonderful day.  I feel like we got to enjoy a little more of the city.  I really like city life and every time I’m in a city, I dream about what it would be like to live in one.  I wonder if I would find it as charming as I imagine.  I do think it would be fun for a season at least.  Boston is delightful… at least in the summer, I don’t think I’d be nearly as romanced by it in the winter.