Thankful we are HERE, in the warm air and sunshine!
We decided we needed to leave Minnesota for the winter.
We will be back March 1st
Thankful I was able to get all the things we needed packed for our 3 month trip away from home.
This was not an easy feat...now, take note of those black suitcases there.
Mine is on the left, packed full, carrying three days worth of clothes for three days of travel,
for myself and 3 of the kiddos,
Simeon's baby blankets, his favorite books, my 5 year old's favorite pink cowboy boots,
extra jammies and any extra last minute things I'd forgotten.
Tom's suitcase on the right there, his has his clothes for 3 days,
along with 3 of the older kiddos clothes for 3 days, including jammies,
Tom's work laptop, all his meds and vitamins, checkbooks, his i-pod,
all our Star Wars DVD's, and many other things.
REMEMBER THIS, THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY!!
Thankful we have 12 lives at the Lake + 1's son living in our home while we are gone!
(He's awesome by the way)
OH, my gosh, look at that snow and those gray skies....
Thankful we loaded up the U-Haul and drove off to the Twin Cities and
spent our first night at Tom's folks home.
Now, I have a "God Story" for you.
The next morning, we left around 5am from the Twin Cities.
Within 15 minutes, Tom noticed something fall of the U-Haul in his side mirror.
Now, it was dark, and he wasn't sure, we stopped along side the freeway.
Cars were zooming by at 70-80 MPH.
Sure enough, the back of the U-Haul had come unlatched
and we lost our luggage.
Thankful we did not lose everything.
The luggage must have exploded or a semi hit them,
because by the time we backtracked there was not much left.
Jedi had a pair of jeans that had $75 bucks in, and those were beside the freeway
(he was freaking out a little about his "worked all summer for that money" money)
Simeon's baby blankies were lost.
Along with his favorite books.
(I had plans on reading those in the hotels at night)
OH, those hurt this mama's heart.
Something black flew up when a car zoomed by,
it ended up being my 10 year old's Tee.
was the Tee.
We were feeling pretty defeated at this time,
no clothes to wear for the next 3 days,
the laptop, Tom's meds...we lost so much,
but you know what?
We have Jesus.
WE HAVE JESUS!!
And He is all we need.
Now, if that was not a direct sign from God,
I sure don't know what would be!!
Traveling with 6 kids was not fun.
Thankful it is over.
We planned 2 very long days and one not so long.
Thankful we learned our lesson
and on the way home plan to stretch that out to
3 1/2 not so long days.
An extra stay in a hotel will be so very worth it!
She does have her seatbelt on here...but not the arm strap...Hmmmm....
We took turns driving.
His back was killing him, the whole time.
It didn't matter if he was driving or riding, it hurt no matter what.
OH, I wish that could just go away for him.
I have to say that Iowa was pretty boring....
But Kansas, was beautiful!!
once we got to Texas,
there were cactus's and palm trees everywhere!!
And it was SO WARM!!!
Look at the beautiful street!!
Thankful for the scenery changes from state to state!
Thankful for our view from our patio.
The pools and the ocean and the beautiful sky.
Thankful every morning, I get up to walk the beach during the sunrise
and before I do, I go to our patio and put on my shoes,
and get to look at this!
It's like the clouds part the way for the SUN to come up!!
The sunset over the bay is not so bad either.
Thankful for lots of beach time
Thankful for 5 year olds that sing while they play.
OH, I could watch her all day.
Oh, yeah, I do.
I'm Thankful for that!
Thankful for hot tub time and swimming pool time!
Free Vitamin D!!
Thankful for big brother moments like this.
And little brother toesies moments like this.
The big girls said they were not going to go in.
They ended up getting soaked.
We have a hard time staying out of the water!
Thankful for shell searching!!
And these 2 cutie pies!!
Thankful for soft sand under our feet
And for our hands to dig in.
Thankful there is so much to do here, he is back to taking naps.
(wherever he can)
Thankful for our little tree for our simple Christmas..
Thankful for these cool pool chairs!!
Wouldn't you love to have one of these?
(I'd have to add some pillows though)
Thankful for sunny beach days
And cloudy beach digging days
Thankful for the most amazing scenery.
Thankful for busy boys exploring a new world.
I'm going to end this with a HUGE thank you to
She made Simeon his original baby blankie.
that he lovingly called, his "Quack-Quack"
It was lost when we lost our luggage
and you know what?
She made him an exact replica
the day she found out
and sent it out.
He was so happy when he got it,
he rolled around the lobby hugging it and smiling and dancing with it.
He got into his carseat
(why yes, he does have a hand-me-down carseat from his sister, why do you ask?)
and laid his Quack-Quack duck side up
and was the happiest I'd seen him since we left the morning we lost the luggage.
It was like having a little of "home" again.
My mama's heart was happy.
Now, this blankie is even more special than before.
Thankful for the sun on my face,
the sand under my feet, the smell of the salty ocean air,
the breeze in my hair and
for a God so BIG
He created it all.
Now, don't look at these pictures and think we have it all perfect and all.
We've struggled to live in tighter quarters than we are used to.
We've got anxiety issues and fighting and unappreciative kids.
We are 8 very different personalities with constant wants and needs.
Just like you.
I'm not sure how much blogging or blog reading I'll be doing.
It will be here and there, but my main focus
is my family at this time
I don't want to be distracted from what God has given me.
I have a little girl begging me,
"Mama, find me something to do!"
(in a very whiney voice)
over and over and over.
I have an almost 3 year old
at my side wanting me to "weed to me mama"
(Read to me mama!)
I waste the precious time given me with my children.
while I look at this rectangular thing.
I'm losing so many opportunities
for joy and grace.
All in balance
God bless you!