Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sand and Waves

Now that summer is winding down for us and the school year is quickly approaching, we took a beach vacation with my mom and step-dad. They rented a house just south of Myrtle Beach for us to spend the week. At first, the kids and I were the only ones to join them, but later in the week, Mike surprised the kids by showing up late one night.

We spent most of the time playing in the sand and the water. 

The kids got new boogie boards and even Anna Grace learned to ride the waves with the help of her big brother and Daddy.

We had a really relaxing week of just spending time at the beach and then playing in the pool whenever we needed a change of scenery.  There were lots of games of "Monkey in the Middle" that even my mom and step-dad joined in on. 

We ate most of our meals at the beach house, but we did eat out a few times.  We loved this really great place to eat at Myrles Inlet that had a long boardwalk connecting lots of fun restaurants. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gifts to the Orphanage

Just a quick post today.
The kids and I have been working on putting together a box of gifts to send to Anna Grace's orphanage. Last summer, I decided that each summer we will send some things to the children in the orphanage along with some pictures and an update on Anna Grace. We had fun gathering together new clothing and toys for the little babies and Cole gathered some of his little Bakugon toys for the older boys in the orphanage. We are really hoping to be able to go back to visit Anna Grace's province and orphanage someday, and we hope to keep a relationship open in the meantime.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Camping, 4th of July, and More Camping

We have been enjoying summer in our camper during the last few weekends. We have to come home during the week so that Mike can go to work, but when the weekend comes around, we are back off in our camper. The weather has been so hot, that we have been looking for cooler weather in the mountains. The kids have enjoyed splashing in the cool mountain streams and we have found some really amazing waterfalls.
Alex is the most adventurous of our kids (though Anna Grace would do more if I would let her) and he is the first to try a new sliding rock, rope swing, or swimming hole.
Once Cole gets brave enough to join in the fun, he has a great time, but he typically watches the fun for a while before he gets up the nerve to join in.
Both boys really had a great time swinging from this long rope into the cold mountain river water.
Our campsite was right next to a little stream stocked with rainbow trout. Mike thought that it was really cool that he could throw little bits of hashbrowns or whatever he was cooking and the trout would come right up to the edge of the stream to eat.
We had to leave our camper at the campground to go home for the week so that Mike could go to work, but we still had a good time during the week celebrating the 4th of July.
A local business in our town hosted a 4th of July celebration at the park, so we packed a picnic supper and a big blanket to eat and watch the parade and fireworks.

At first, Anna Grace was scared of the fireworks. She has a fear of all loud noises including the flushing of public toilets. Last year, we skipped fireworks with her all togther. But, after a few minutes, she came around and decided that the fireworks were not so scary.
Finally, when the work week was over for Mike, we headed back to our camper in the mountains. This time, Mike's parents joined us at our campground. We were able to spend time with them and eat meals together in between our adventures.
We started the weekend off with a hike to a 100 foot waterfall. The hike was really long and very hilly, but the views and the cold mountain water at the end made it worth the trip!
Anna Grace had fun trying to catch the little minnows swimming along the edge of the river while the boys climbed on the rocks and played in the deeper holes at the base of the waterfalls.
One of the falls that we went to was supposed to be a sliding rock. It turned out to be a short slide followed by a huge drop off into a deep water hole! Alex took one look at the waterfall and said, "I'm doing it!" In order to get to the top of the water fall, he had to scale the side of it hanging onto a long rope. Mike had to climb behind Alex and give him directions, but it did not deter him.
He was so proud of himself when he made it to the top!
As soon as he landed, he wanted to go again!
On Saturday, we took the kids on a little tubing trip down the more calm part of the river. I don't have any pictures of that trip since I don't have a waterproof camera, but all 3 kids had fun and it was much more relaxing than our Friday hike! These are just a few pictures of the kids playing in the creek around our camper.
Mike and I really hope that our kids will remember the fun times that we are having in our camper and enjoying the beautiful world that God gave us.