Friday, June 22, 2012

A Father's Love--Father's Day 2012

Patrick is an amazing father.  He models in so many ways how Christ loves us as our Heavenly Father.

One of my favorite pictures is Patrick holding a sack (baby Tristan!) and having both boys fight the fire-breathing dragon.  With their father there, they didn't have a single ounce of fear.   When you know you are protected, loved and secure - of whom should you be afraid?

He doesn't just parent from afar, He gets down to our level and talks with us, smiles and encourages us.  Somehow, you can hear Him whisper how much He enjoys being with you.   His delight is YOU.

He takes the time to teach you so you can learn and grow.   From a child's eyes, you see how strong and all-powerful He is. You wonder, "Is there anything too hard for Him?"  Nope, not my dad!

He is so patient with us.  It's easier to accomplish it Himself, but He invites us to be a part of it.  Why?  Because He is love.  And one day, you will tell the world of this great love that you were shown. 

On this Father's day, our gift to our family is Patrick.  What a legacy he will leave for those boys and I can't be more grateful!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Beach!

We just got back from six fun-filled days (and five sleepless nights :) at Virginia Beach.  We went to visit Patrick's youngest sister, Meghan and her family.  Her husband was recently deployed to Afghanistan and they just had the newest member of the family, Miles, who was three weeks old when we arrived.  We had a great week.  Here's all the fun stuff we did!

Beach!  Sun.  Sand.  Um, crabs. It was a sand crab scavenger hunt.  At one count, they were up to catching 42 sandcrabs.  One would holler out, "I've got 36!"

My beach bum baby.

We walked the boardwalk and the first thing we HAD to do was get a rainbow snowcone.

Since we were in a military town, we had to go see the Aviation Museum!

Our next stop was a road-trip to Historical Jamestown.  They saw Powhatan Village, came on board all three of the Settlement Ships and also saw the actual fort.  Such a great day.

Helping the Indians carve out a canoe.

Meghan is a rockstar.  Not only did she drive 90 minutes with four children to get there, but she leaves the stroller behind.  High speed, low drag!


Wow, were those armors HEAVY.  I have no idea how they could have fought in them!

Caelan is ready for battle....sweet warrior!

But wait....there's more to do!  
Can't have a warrior spirit, and not visit the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Portsmouth.

Last stop of the week was at the Acquarium, which was VERY impressive.  Super interactive for kids.  They have seals, a huge shark tank, a Bird Aviary and so much more.

One night, we ate Hibachi and the kids LOVED the entertainment and the food.  If you were a boy, why wouldn't you love FIRE??

The four older boys spent a lot of time together in the playroom, and at night----they stayed up, often an hour after bedtime, talking and laughing.   The two younger ones, well...they bonded too taking each other's toys and having bath time.

We had a really great week.  It was fun, but also exhausting from the nights--just trying to get our kids to sleep in new arrangements.  It won't deter us though from building great memories again.  Who needs the sleep anyway???  We hope to come back again, soon!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Class of 2012 - Preschool Graduation

Congratulations to Micah and Caelan Ring for completing preschool.  I can't tell you guys how proud I am of them.  They really enjoyed learning and they love having their friends come to our house for school.  To the class of 2012!

I got a chance to tell each child how proud I was of their accomplishments.  I saw this quote today by Dr. Seuss.  I think they would have liked this one:  “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Micah got the foundation for his letter recognition both upper and lower case.  He is now reading basic words and can count to 100.  Wow!

Caelan is learning to pout.  Just kidding.  I am so proud of him because he is learning to listen and obey his teacher and keeping his hands to himself.  He is learning to stay quiet in line.  He likes to count to 10, sing his ABC's and sing all songs in general.

We ended our celebration with an outdoor picnic of pizza, juice and cupcakes.  Tristan is on the end looking forward to the possibilities of next year.

Summer Bucket List - Doukenie Vineyards

What a great day on Sunday where we met my brother's family and our dear friends, Karen and Michael, at Doukenie Winery  in Purcellville.

Why I like this vineyard?  For starters, it's super kid-friendly.  There's open fields to run, some trees to climb, and a fishing pond where you can bring your own rods.  Their pond is stocked full of fish.  We didn't know this, but little Caelan REALLY enjoys fishing and is good at it.


For $8, you get to do about 6 tastings, one of which includes a dessert wine.  I really liked 2 out of the 6 wines, but the other 4 wines were pretty good, especially paired with the right food.  Celebrate with friends.

While the kids are fishing and friends are celebrating---the property is so serene that even your baby can fall  asleep to the cows and horses in the pasture!

It's BYOD--bring your own dinner.  A lot of wineries don't allow this.  They have picnic tables set up so you can pack a picnic, drink a bottle of wine and be merry.  Thanks to Seyla for grilling swordfish, sea bass and pork chops.  Deelish!

Near the red barn, there are patio tables with umbrellas that if you just wanted to buy their cheese and crackers, and a bottle, you could enjoy a wonderful afternoon.  The weather was vineyard-picturesque perfect and it was a wonderful way to kick off the summer!