The past few months have been packed full of fun! We went to Panama City Beach in October. Our little family found a wonderful treasure - A little private beach at the St. Andrews. You would have thought no one else knew about it except for us! No condos or anyone on the beaches. One side of the island was huge rocks that darted far out into the water. We could walk out on the rock where the birds landed and watch the boats and fish go by. The other side was our oasis. Completely clear water, calm as bath water, beginning only ankle deep and reaching only to our waste at its deepest. There were little islands of sand out in the middle of the crystal clear water. We would take our chairs and our big storage container of toys and set up camp out in the middle of the ocean. The boys ran through the water as fast as they could without the fear of the waves knocking them to the ground. We went to St. Andrews almost every day. Once we had experienced it, we could barely stomach the crowded beaches laced with seaweed. But, it was magical. The temperature never reaching 80 degrees and the light breeze. We escaped the entire week with no sunburns! I can't imagine how that happened considering the amount of time we spent there! Jude rolled in the wet sand, dumping buckets of it on his head. And of course, we build sand castles and flew kites where the oceans meets the sand. Nothing else mattered that week except for those two boys. Barely dragging ourselves off the beach each evening, we made it in time for lovely sea food dinners at night.
In November, we went to Gatlinburg with my mom, sister and her fiancée. We stayed in a beautiful cabin on top of a mountain. We cooked gigantic breakfasts each morning and went out for strolls in the city for lunch. At night, we came back to light fires in the fireplace, make dinner, and charades. We mentioned changing to one of the other games in the stack we brought, but could not separate ourselves from the laughter and humiliation charades caused. It was all warm, toasted and smelled like breakfast all weekend. It was unexpectedly a very small cabin. We were all forced to cram into a tiny little living room to be together. But, it turned out wonderful that way. My boys have never felt so much love in one room! Even the fiancée got a taste of the dirty fingers and as we call it "wallering." It felt really great to be so squeezed together with my mom and my sister! We talked about weddings and babies and family. One day we took the boys to the Ripley's Aquarium. They were fascinated by the sharks and sting ray. Jude especially LOVED the new penguin exhibit. He still can't let go of his squeaky penguin mom got him at the gift shop - but the speaker broke. And Roman got magnetic jewels - he thinks he is a pirate.
The we jump right into Thanksgiving where we travel to IN to visit David's family. The boys absolutely love spending time with their 3 cousins, Jackson, Emerson, and Victoria. Jude jumped right in there with the rest of the kids this time! He has finally grown big enough to keep up! Roman especially loved playing video games with Emerson. All the family came together on Thursday. They boys got to spend some time with their great grandparents too! I did arrive with a fever of 104 and stayed in bed the first day. The second day, my fever continued around 101 but I was at least able to get out of bed and enjoy Thanksgiving. It was a hard trip for my because I was so sick but my boys didn't know the difference. They made some wonderful memories.
Jude is 20 months old! Roman is approaching 4 1/2. This is a very rich time for us. They are playing together so well and both are able to really express themselves well. Jude started speaking in complete sentences a few weeks ago. He says things like "I see bubba" and "I need milk." He repeats EVERYTHING and tries to play jokes now. He is right in the middle of potty training. He is pretty close. My guess is maybe 2 more months to get it down really well. Roman has a new friend named Jaedyn. She is 9 months younger than him but just as brilliant and exuberant as him. There is no one else in the room when they are together. He seems to have a little crush on her already at only 4 1/2! Can you believe that? Jude has to do everything Roman does. If Roman stumps his toe, Jude comes running with a hurt toe as well. Could I possibly want another one of these little miracles?? Still so unsure but the thought of my little family stopping here is a little heartbreaking to me. So maybe that means something.
Christmas season is here. Everything has stopped - well as of yesterday. I'm taking a break from pictures for a bit until spring comes back around. I'm choosing to soak up every moment this coming month. We have put together an Advent calender with a pocket for each day. A little note is tucked away in one of those pockets instructing us to do something together as a family. I really want to focus on Jesus this season and celebrate his "coming" with my children. Our notes include so many things ranging from shopping for our Christmas Angel to baking Christmas cookies together. I want us to turn our focus outward and give a little of what we have. The boys are singing carols everyday and watching Christmas movies back to back! It's going to be the most fun month yet with them being these ages. I am going to think and read and pray. God is changing me as always, making me better, and teaching me. He feels close. I feel His love embracing and guiding me. Looking forward to all the adventures the next month always brings!
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