Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Family photo shoot

I was ironing (YES, IRONING, JESSIE, JILLIAN and KRISTA) clothes the day before Easter and Rob spontaneously suggested that we go to our little neighborhood park and get some family photos. I thought that was a great idea and then I didn't have to worry about it on Easter. Good thing we did, because the virus from you know where hit me about 2 hours after these pictures were taken. In fact, I think I look pale in all of them. My imagination? Perhaps. But all I wore on Easter Sunday was an old T-shirt and yoga pants, so there you go. I'm glad we got them when we did.

Easter weekend 2014

Okay, so these pictures are of the week before Easter. Because Lord knows I didn't get any pictures on Easter Sunday. That's because I was lying in bed all day. With a trash can beside me. You get the point. We did manage to get some family shots the day before Easter, but I need to wrestle those away from my husband who has them loaded into his computer. Until then, here are some Webster shenanigans leading up to Easter.

Hanging eggs in our yard

I directed a skit for the children's service on Palm Sunday. I was so proud of these kids.

Hunting for eggs is serious business!

Will and his best friend, Macy. Two peas in a pod.

The Easter carnival at my parent's church

Best. Bunny. Picture. Ever! Who can blame her? Look at that creepy thing.

Making our annual resurrection cake on Good Friday. In the midst of all of the egg hunts, we really try to emphasize to the kids why we celebrate Easter and why it is the highest and holiest day of the year.

Cutting out the tomb

We place a figure that represents Jesus in white cloth and place it in the tomb

And then seal it with a "stone"

Dying Easter eggs. Please look at that little thing who desperately wants to be like her brother and sister. You cannot keep this one little no matter how hard you try. In her mind, she's already 5.

And we made our annual Easter basket cupcakes.

Easter morning. The stone was rolled away on our cake! The kids saw this and kept yelling, "He is Risen!"

 Easter baskets were filled. By this point, I was really sick. Like, reeeaaallllyy sick. I crawled out of bed to snap approximately 5 pictures and then headed back to my trash can. I missed church on Easter for the first time ever. We made an emergency 6 am phone call to my parents and they drove 2 hours to rescue me. I couldn't have been more grateful. Rob had to be at church really early and they was no way I could watch the kids for 6 hours. Good thing because as soon as he got home from church, Rob got sick. And now Bennett is sick. And so is my Mom. I digress. Back to happy pictures of Easter baskets.

And a shot of the table.

So, maybe Easter this year was a bit different. Our Easter carnival at church was cancelled due to rain. I was unable to attend church or eat with my family. But that doesn't matter. That is so completely insignificant in light of why we celebrate Easter. Whether I am dressed in my finest sitting in a pew at church or whether I am curled up in bed shivering, Jesus still came to earth. He still died on the cross. And He still conquered death and sin by rising three days later. 

We read to the kids passages from the Jesus story book Bible every night leading up to Easter.

 As Sally Lloyd Jones writes in the book above, "Now everyone can come home to God," Jesus said. "Death is not the end of you. You can live forever with your Father in heaven because I have rescued the whole word."

Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Big Firsts in the Webster house

Bennett had two huge firsts in the month of March.

1. She lost her first tooth!
It actually came out on our way to West Virginia. We knew it would be coming out shortly and we even asked the clerk as we checked in the hotel if this was a tooth fairy approved hotel. We found out that it was and so we were comfortable staying there. The tooth actually came out while she was eating a waffle during breakfast. Yup, she swallowed her first tooth. Oh, well. Here was her apologetic note to the tooth fairy.

Then two weeks later she lost the one right next to it. This time she was determined to save the tooth so she could put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. She lost it at school and held on tightly to it all day long. And then, just before bed, as she was putting it under her pillow, Rob reached for a book and knocked it out of her hand.

One word. Utter despair. Okay, that's two words. We all searched all over B's room and under her bed with flashlights but to no avail. She wrote the tooth fairy another letter of apology and begrudgingly went to bed.

Only in our house could losing teeth be so dramatic.

I have to say that I have been a tiny bit sentimental. I know, I know.... shocking. But these were her first two teeth. The ones I had waited and waited for. And I still remember how she looked when she only had those two bottom teeth.

Another big first is that Bennett learned how to ride a bike while we were at the beach. Whoo-Hoo! We had been working with her for awhile so all she needed was a little bit of incentive and fortunately it came in the form of her big cousin Emmie helping her. Emmie worked with her for only a day or so and then.......

And then sometimes she couldn't quite get the handle of the brakes.

But she did it. And now she is riding her bike all over our neighborhood. I am so proud of my reading, writing, toothless bike rider.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Break along 30A

Please forgive me for another blog post that is just another massive compilation of pictures. When I look back over posts from a few years ago, I find short quirky updates, funny observations and cool recipes. Now I am just desperately trying to get pics up here so this blog can be a scrapbook for the kids. Oh, well. Bear with me. Hopefully I can get back to writing a blog that people outside of my immediate family will enjoy reading. One day.

But not today, because the following is a really long recap of our wonderful Spring Break. We had only three days at home from West Virginia before we headed down to 30A for a wonderful week of rest and family time.

30A is the name of the road which is comprised of a strip of beaches along the panhandle of Florida. It is located right in between Destin and Panama City and it is absolutely beautiful. It is made up of small beach towns where local businesses thrive, chain restaurants are nowhere to be found, bike riding is encouraged, and every place you go to looks like a quaint postcard. We love it there.

We stayed in Seacrest Beach, but we spent a lot of the week in Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach and Seaside. They all run together and if I could move there tomorrow, I would in a heartbeat.

This was the view out of my bedroom window. I could get used to that.

And this is a shot of the house we stayed in. It looks really narrow, but it was so spacious inside. It was perfect for our family. I love this because everyone is out front getting ready to hop on their bikes and head somewhere. I loved being able to ride a bike to dinner, to shop or just ride around.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I love local things. I am a huge fan of cute shops, Mom-n-Pop restaurants and anything unique to a certain area. I fell in love with this little donut truck. It was parked only a block from our house and we loved walking up one morning to get donuts. Isn't it adorable?

 Will enjoying his early morning treat.

And here is the view on our walk back to the house. I mean..... come on. 

It was unusually cold the week we were there, so we didn't get to spend much time on the beach or in the water. But there were a few times the kids got to get in their bathing suits and enjoy the beach.

And here they are riding down to the pool one day. Oh, how I love these two.

And I kind of love this little one too.

They also had trams that would pick you up and take you down to the beach. My kids constantly fought over who get to sit in the front next to the driver. Of course they did.

Family bike rides. My favorite. We have been going to Seaside since my oldest niece was a baby and going on long bike rides all over the town together are my favorite parts of the trips.

There was a park close to our house that we enjoyed playing at and one morning a theatre troupe came and gave an unexpected little improv performance.

The announced that they would be in Seaside that night doing a production of Cinderella. So, who do you think got there bright and early? No brainer.

Watching Cinderella

Bennett was enthralled. I absolutely love this shot that Rob got of her as she turned to us when something funny happened on stage.

Lainey needed to think about it for a minute.

Bennett posing with Cinderella afterwards

And Lainey finally warmed up to the prince long enough to give him a high five.

Hanging out in Seaside. We absolutely love it there.

One fun thing about the area is that you are bound to run into people you know. Both my sister and I were constantly running into friends all throughout the week. We would be riding bikes and pass a classmate of Will's or we would bump into someone from our church at a gift shop. Some of our dear friends that we have known for years and years were staying just down the road so we got together with them one afternoon. We sure do love the Kingry family.

Their phenomenally talented daughter, Alison, took this picture of Lainey.

And then she also snapped this shot of my family as we were walking back to our car. I had no idea she was taking this and I just adore it. And the Seaside post office in the background? Come on.

We also loved hanging out all up and down 30A in different locations. Here are some shots from the playground at Alys Beach

A simple game of "Monkey in the Middle" with an old soccer ball ended up taking up an entire afternoon and turned out to be one of our best memories from the trip.

And we enjoyed checking out the great restaurants in Rosemary Beach.

This picture sums up me and Rob. Perfectly. And those are fondue forks in our hands just in case you are really paying attention to this blog entry.

The third floor of our house overlooked the ocean and we promptly names the outside area, "the party deck." We spent a lot of time on this deck whether it was hanging out in an eno...


.....enjoying some ice cream...

..or just watching the day pass by.

We enjoyed going on walks down to the water or just wherever the wind blew us. This is one of my favorite pictures from the whole week. I love my daughters.

And spending quality time with family is always a good thing.

Lainey loved the beach but only if she was clothed and wearing shoes. If we took her shoes off or put her in a bathing suit, it was all over. What can I say? She's a girl that knows what she wants.

After a really hard month, it was so nice to get away and just be together with no alarm clocks (except the 1 year old who loves watching the sun rise) and no schedules.

And we did the obligatory photo shoot on the beach. You have to do it on every family trip and I love that we do. Here are my parents with their six grandchildren. Five girls and one boy, or as my Mom calls them, "the special six." I love that.

My fam

Me and my sis

So thankful that I got to spend a whole week with this crew. Family is a gift and I could not be more grateful for mine.