Saturday, August 30, 2014

SiX YeaRs OLd!

Emma Grace, I can not believe you are six today! Ready to start kindergarten. Brave and thrilled to start new adventures. Without your mommy. I digress...
You are such a sweet, spunky, silly girl. Living each day full of passion. You know what you want and you are sure to let everyone around you know. I pray that you continue to be assertive while learning how to control it, portraying your desires gently without hurting others. You make friends quickly where ever we go. Although sometimes you forget to ask their names :)
I love to see you help people, you have a deep desire for giving and serving. May these traits continue to grow as you do so you may shine like a bright little light for Jesus. There are certainly days where you butt heads continually with your siblings. However, there are far more days when you are quick to tend to a need. You are an awesome big sis!
This is an exciting year for you. Going to school all day, every day. Riding the bus. Eating lunch with friends. You are ready to start, yet a little hesitant. I know you will do fine. You are so smart little love! You already know uppercase and lowercase letters and the sounds they make. We are working sounding out words and learning to spell. On the weekends when daddy is able to tuck you in, you have your 'five minutes' together and you guys work on your math skills.

You love your kittens, dolls and books. Television is a constant battle because you would watch it for hours on end if we allowed it! You love anything princess, especially Frozen these days. Countless hours are spent in the office crafting away. You have an endless imagination and are always coming up with something to share!
You, my dear girl, made me a mommy! I am forever grateful for the blessing you are in our lives. Each day I pray that we continue to teach you of our Savior's unending love and that you may continue to grow and flourish in your faith. Happy birthday sweetheart, we love you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Steps

I randomly pulled this toy out of the basement today to see what Elissa might do and she took right off.
video
Emma made sure she was not left out of the spotlight :) Sweet baby steps, slow down please!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pier Cove

Knowing full well that these beautiful summer days are fleeting, we made plans with our neighbors and besties to hit the beach yesterday. It was predicted to be uncomfortably warm so what better way to spend the day? There is a nice beach in Saugatuck with a creek that runs through the sand to the big lake. Perfect for big and littles a like.

After a minor encounter with a man in an RV who was taking up 3 of the ten allotted parking spots for the beach, all 7 children were unloaded and ready to hit the water. Can I just say, it takes a lot of stuff to have a successful day at the beach with so many kids in tow?!?

The sun stayed behind the clouds for the majority of the afternoon. The children had a blast running from lake to stream and back again. The youngest kiddos were able to happily crawl around and splash. The big kids made rock sculptures, floated on giant logs and ran amuck. They were able to keep their adventures going for over four hours while the moms were able to bond.

 

Love these perfect days with such great company! I am not ready for miss Emma to head off to school next week.
This boy played hard!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Silver Lake

While the kids and I have taken several trips this year, Jason hasn't really had an actual vacation since our family trip to Florida in February. And while that was fun, it wasn't something he would have planned. We have camped a lot this summer too, but that means the little ones and I camp while Jason works. He joins us for meals and Sundays.
 
So he decided he wanted to plan a getaway before school started and the warm summer days are gone. One of his favorite places to go close to home is silver Lake. In fact, it's where we had our first date. He has spent many hours cruising the dunes. We left on Tuesday afternoon during a massive rainstorm. Thankfully the rain ended not long after our departure. Once we found our rental house we headed to town for dinner and a walk.
 
Emma and Jason decided to try out the zip line at Craig's Cruisers. I was amazed she wanted to try it out, especially in the dark. She loved it though!
 
Wednesday morning proved to be beautiful so we hit the dunes. The kids and I rode in the Commander and Jason rode his quad.

Elissa seemed to be the most content in the group.

After lunch the kids and I headed to the beach. It seemed cool out when we were driving around so I didn't bother to grab suits. Mistake. It was hot sitting by the water! We didn't even go in the big lake since there were giant puddles everywhere they could play in.

We had to ditch the diaper after a little bit!

The 'puddles' were deceiving. Emma found one that was shoulder deep on her after a little exploring.


Riding all day was hard work!
 
Thursday morning Elissa discovered she could see the tv around her siblings much better if she pulled herself up.

We headed to Pentwater for the day to do some biking and explore the area. Once we got back to Hart we biked to town to get some ice cream. We also made another trip to Craig's Cruisers.
Easton found this moose in a gift shop that he wanted to bring home.

Elissa watching the go karts
Easton and daddy taking a spin around the track.
Mommy took a turn on the zip line with Emma

Friday we geared up for another day in the dunes. Since the big kids didn't seem to enjoy riding backwards in the Commander we rented a four seater RZR for the day. The complaints were minimal once everyone could look forward and see where we were going. Jason was happy to be able to take spin in the Commander instead of riding his quad too.

Ready to ride

Another beach stop
 


My dad and his girlfriend came to hang with us Friday night. Once we were done riding for the day we loaded up and headed back to the house for dinner. We also took one more bike ride to town for ice cream. Saturday morning was busy cleaning the house, packing and loading up the truck. It was a wonderful breather before school starts and harvest makes life busy!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bunk Mates

Tonight these girls will be sharing a room together. I'm praying that everyone gets some sleep!
Hopefully this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship these two can share.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Final Camping Trip for 2014

We just got home from our last trip of the year at TriPonds. This time it was just us and one other family. While I love camping with the big groups, it is also nice to see the bonds grow between the littles when they are together in smaller numbers. While it was rainy and very October-ish outside, we still made the best of our time.


 We made it over to Cranes to pick some peaches, nectarines and raspberries on one of the nicer days.


 The kiddos enjoyed the beach a few times. Although Elissa enjoyed the water more than I anticipated so I made sure to bring her suit along after the first visit!
 Elissa and Molly enjoying some girl time.
 Emma and Ayla getting their craft on.
 The boys taking turns riding and pushing each other.
 Cuteness overload!
 Our picinic lunch during a mid day rain storm while they watched Despicable Me 2
Elissa loved her Dum Dum :)
 
It's a little bittersweet to bring the camper home and get it winterized for the year. Not to mention the 12 loads of laundry. Looking forward to more fun in 2015!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Big ONE!

We celebrated Elissa's big birthday with our extended family on Sunday. She was showered with presents and love!

 Chowing down
 Dessert table



 Opening a drum Emma made for her
 This toy from Grandma Jen and Papa Joe is a big hit with everyone!
 
Her new big girl tricycle from Papa Spence
 
Getting ready for some cake
 
 Not shy about it!
 
 Post cake sink bath
 
 Thank you to all our family for celebrating our sugar pie's birthday with us!