Blaine and I took the three youngest kids to Florida for spring break. Blaine's mom very rented a house on the beach and very generously shared it with her kids and grandkids. We made great memories on this trip...both as a nuclear family and as an extended family. As you could tell by my last post way back in February, things had gotten to be pretty stressful and this time away was so essential for us as a family.
We went to Smuggler's Cove...the coolest mini-golf place in the world! They had real alligators that the kids could feed. MJ made a hole-in-one as you can see in the pic. He's pretty excited!
MJ trying to walk in flippers! So, so precious.
MJ in his glory. We spent a lot of time on the beach. The kids buried each other, built sand castles and road the waves to their hearts content. I haven't spent much time at the ocean and was really surprised just how much sand a child could accumulate in their swimming shorts. And some of this sand was the very scratchy type. Halfway through the day, these boys would do the frog walk to me and need some assistance! Ouch:) Finally we figured out that wearing underwear under swimming shorts was the answer.
We found the greatest Italian restaurant on our way from Sanibel. Let's see...can Mihiretu eat this entire pizza?
Was there really any question?
For most of the week, the kids played with their cousins and had a ball! I love that they had the time just to be free to be kids and spend time together. For some reason, I don't have a great picture of all of them together! The above pic is of our friends' kids, who were in Florida for spring break and came to spend the day with us.
Blaine and his brothers in law took the boys fishing one day. They had a BLAST!! Mihiretu is standing by his Uncle Wayne and is holding a mackerel he caught.
Blaine caught a King Mackerel!
Aliya and Dad. Can you tell how much she loves him?
The 5 of us on our beautiful beach!
Things really go up and down in our house which is all part of adjusting as a family. You can't add a new person and not feel the growing and adjusting pains that it brings. We continue to work on this and enjoy each other so much when we're all on the same page. A trip affords that...all the regular stress is gone and everything is fun and new and everyone is at their best. I really treasure times like these. I need them to get through the other times;) This trip would not have been possible if it weren't for the generosity of Grandma Joani. We love you and thank you so much!!
Now I have to tell you some exciting news! Remember back in December I mentioned that our friends, Kevin and Denise were going to adopt? Well, they have been diligently working on all their adoption paperwork (at record speed I might add) and last week received and accepted the referral of three of the most beautiful siblings from Ethiopia you've ever seen! I can't give you too much information but I can tell you that the oldest is a girl, age 13, the second is a boy, age 9 and the little one is a boy, age 3! God sure had an interesting plan in that! Our kids are in the same gender order and are VERY close in ages to these 3...hmmmm. Aliya is anxious to help with interpreting since they won't speak much English. God is good and sure has a plan! They hope to have them home before Christmas. Lots to get ready:)
God sets the lonely in families (and He does so with such flair!)