McKee Family

McKee Family
Habakkuk 2:3 "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay."

Monday, July 7, 2014

Freedom!

This was our first 4th of July in America with Ashlyn & Abby. Last year we were in Canada, so there was no talk of freedom or of our beloved country. Ashlyn and I went for a walk last week and I told her all of the things that make this country so special. She took it all in and said, "yes, in China, you can worship Jesus, but you have to be very quiet." I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here before or not, but Ashlyn knew about Jesus before we came for her. She was attending a small missionary church in her rural town. The pastor and his wife would come to pick up some kids from the orphange on Saturday mornings and take them to their house where they would hear stories from the Bible, sing songs, and eat lunch. Ashlyn has a deep desire for the things of the Lord and she loves Christian music. She tells me, "it's good for my heart." Ironically, she came downstairs early one morning about a year ago and told me she had a new favorite song. We had given her an ipod with music on it and she would fall asleep to it most nights. I asked her what her new favorite song was and she said, in broken English, "love is on the move." Then she said, "It makes my heart feel good, it makes me cry." I've said it before and I'll say it again, with God, there are NO coincidences. Did she know that was the song that inspired this blog? Did she know that God had used it to speak to my heart about her? Nope. Of all of the thousands of songs on that ipod, she loved this song the most...

When the days get foggy and all jumbled up with noise and confusion and sometimes really hard feelings, this is what I go back to. The beginning. God's promise. He is near. He is still at work. He will not leave us. He will not leave us. He will not leave us...

Blessings,
Rebecca

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Well, Hello!!!

8 months ago I felt the need to pull the plug on this blog of mine. It was demanding way too much of my time and distracting me from responsibilities and reality. When we got ready to go to China I joined Facebook and that seemed to be a quicker and easier way to keep up with people these past several months. I have missed journaling the events of our daily lives though.

So...

Just to catch you up on what's been happening around our home...

*We spent Christmas with my brother and his wife in NYC... Quite an adventure.

*Ashlyn had her cleft palate repair (taking a bone graft from her hip), along with 8 tooth fillings & tubes in her ears in late December. I wasn't sure what to expect. It seems that many people's experiences with this cleft surgery has been quite difficult. Our doctors gave us great hope that Ashlyn would do just fine, and in fact, SHE DID AMAZING! I think she only took her pain meds for 2 days. She had to eat mushy food for the next 6 weeks, but even then, it wasn't that hard. It was a huge success. Praise the Lord for incredible doctors!



Just another day in the doctor's chair!


*In January, all 4 homeschooled McKees headed off to the big, bad, public school. They all went for different reasons, but mostly just because we realized we needed reinforcements. They all had some gaps to fill in bc of our time off after China and we knew the only way to accomplish this without me losing my mind was to turn it over to the professionals. Ashlyn has excelled in every subject. Her teachers love her. Her hard work and determination has afforded her their extra efforts. They make provisions for her and find alternatives for her in areas where her reading and comprehension is still on a low level. She immediately became qualified for educational speech therapy. In our first days at the new school, the entire team of teachers, guidance counselors, school therapists/psychologists, and staffing specialists were ON TOP OF IT. It has been the best decision for her. The other kiddos are also doing well. Ansley slid right in and has made good friends. Alex was asked to be a part of the basketball team, but because he had just finished up an exhausting basketball season already, he decided not to participate. His PE coach didn't take no for an answer when track season started. Alex joined the team reluctantly and came in 1st place in the 400 in all 3 of the heats that he competed in. We were so proud! Aidan is having a blast at his new school too. He made friends fast and has something to pour all of that pent up energy into now. It's been so good for all of us to have some time away from each other. As much as we love our time together, things were getting really strained around here. I am enjoying just being mom again. And, can I just say, the public school system has blown us away. We are very pleased. Our kids have even surprised us with their desire to step out and be a light for their peers and teachers. Amamzing stuff... too much to share just yet, but God is SO good!



His very first track meet. I was just praying that he wouldn't come in dead last. He was competing against some very fast boys! He came in first place!


*This spring we finally put a pool in; something we'd been waiting to do since we moved in this home 7 years ago. It has been such a huge blessing. We spent our spring break here at home with friends and family, playing in the pool. Abby LOVES the water. We enrolled her in survival swim lessons and she did great. She really is a natural in the water. She will jump in the deep end now and swim all the way over to the shallow end, floating when she needs to catch her breath. It's been so good for her.


Swim Lessons


*Speaking of Abby, we finally got her IEP! This took a year, but we finally have it and plan to start more intensive speech therapy very soon. She is still not speaking, but she does try. She also tries communicating in other ways from time to time and this gets me very excited. She's such a smart little girl. She's a sweet girl who is very loved by her entire family. She also loves to be a helper and I am starting to look for ways to move on from babying her to treating her more like the 6 year old that she is. She is very capable.

*Baseball season is almost done for our little A-Dog. He's had another really good season. He pitches really well and plays short stop and first base. He's a natural at this sport and his good sportsmanship makes us very proud.

Game Ball!


*I just enrolled Averleigh for VPK in the fall (sniff-sniff). She is turning into such a big girl. I really hate that I'm out of the baby phase forever. I never saw that one coming. We've talked about adding another one, but I think my soon-to-be-highschooler would curl up and die of embarassment. He has expressed on more than one occasion that he is not for adding anymore children to the chaos. It's just about all he can handle, sharing a room with his sloppy 8 year old brother... :) Firstborns!

Averleigh, Addie (the neighbor), and Abby


Alex's first time driving my van... He did a great job!


*Matt and I celebrated our 17th anniversary in April. We got away for a night at a beautiful resort here in Orlando. It was so relaxing... a much needed break away alone:)

Me and My Sweet Guy!


*Summer is upon us and we have alot already scheduled... More surgery for Ashlyn (lip revision and 2 front teeth), camps, basketball conditioning, VBS, Summer reading programs, more swim lessons, and Lord willing, the beach and Canada.


We celebrated Ashlyn's birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese... picked them all up from school and surprised them. It was her very first time. We figured we needed to make up for lost birthday parties past... every kid needs a birthday at CEC!

*And lastly...
We got another dog:) Bentley... He's an American Eskimo. We rescued him from a foster family who found him. He's about 3 years old, we think...



A-Dog & Bentley


*Everything is still going better than we ever dreamed it would. We continue to press on and stay focused on what the Lord has for us. Ashlyn and Abby continue to defy the odds. They love us and they love their life here in America. Do we have setbacks? Yes. Is it always easy? No. But, it's been the best thing that's EVER happened to us and God has eqipped us with everything we need to get through the struggles. We have developed a relationship with a good Christian counselor for Ashlyn. She will continue to go twice a month and learn to unpack her hurts and the things that she keeps buried underneath that sweet smile of hers. She's s fighter and an overcomer. She has a great attitude. Her mental health is great and she thinks very maturely for a girl her age. She's very practical, understanding, forgiving, and realistic. Sometimes she makes us crazy, but that's just because we are selfish human beings. We are all learning how to slow down and be patient with each other. I just pray that when my kids leave this crazy home one day, they will look back with fond memories. That the good will outweigh the bad and that they will have a deep love for one another.

Leaving my nephew's birthday party... I had to snap this pic! It's embedded on my heart forever!



Blessings,
Rebecca

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Irritable Me...

Here's where we're at 9 months in...

First, the things we are not dealing with that we thought we would be...

1. anger, rage, rebelliousness, jealousy, rejection towards any of us...
2. institutional behaviors; manipulation, triangulation, lying, stealing, cheating, bullying... of any sort.
3. night terrors, hoarding, stashing away food...
4. bad attitude, isolation...

I am in constant awe of how well our girls have transitioned into their new lives. This is an obvious miracle. Anyone who knows the typical adjustments in bringing newly adopted (especially older) children into a family would look at us and either say, "Well, just give them time" or "WOW". I am choosing to say, "WOW". God is good. But He is ALWAYS good. So, even when things do not go my way, I know without a doubt that it is inevitably for my good and His glory and He will use it to refine me, prune me, make me more dependant on Him... and hopefully more like Him.

With that said, here's a little reality for ya...

I am so thankful for my life, but I am tired.

I am an introvert by nature and I love to be alone. One of my favorite things to do is sit outside on my back porch, with a good book or my Bible and listen to the wind blow through the trees (which is what I'm doing right now). I love to take hot baths after dinner with lots of bubbles, lavendar epsom salts, and candles burning. I love to listen to worship music and clean my house in solitude. I love going out to dinner just me and my husband and having a glass of red wine. I love to go to lunch with a good friend and really talk & really listen.

With six kids it is no surprise that these moments are fewer and farther between these days. I make time each and every single day for some quiet time during little girl's naps and I almost always take a bath after dinner, but my days are so rushed and so full. Full of good things, but full nontheless.

I hate it when people take on a lot of stuff and then "complain" about how busy they are. This is not that. I am not complaining. I chose this life. I chose to be a stay at home mom and have 6 kids and I wouldn't trade any of it for all the money in the world. I love having my hands full of children. Is there anything more rewarding? For me, there is NOTHING more rewarding than raising/discipling a family. And I am humbled that God would look upon me with such favor as to bless me with the opportunity to pour into the lives of 6 of His children.

Why me, God?

I will never understand what He sees in me...

I do know that when He looks at me He sees His Son Jesus. He sees that I am lowly and sinful and covered in the blood of Jesus. He sees that I am needy and weak and strong in His Son Jesus. He sees that I am fragile and broken, yet whole because of His Son Jesus.

But as we all know, nothing worthwhile in life ever comes easy. To do a job well there is always some level or degree of sacrifice involoved. There are always cons with the pros.

Right now I am trying to catch my balance in my new normal. What I used to do with ease is now more rugged. I feel like I am re-learning how to do this mommy thing all over again... Like having a baby for the very first time. I am learning how to give more of myself, even though I have less. And herein lies my biggest challenge... How to give more from less...

I don't really know how to explain what is going on right now with Ashlyn. I'll yell you that I feel like she needs more of me some days (not always) than I have to give and it drains me and makes me irritable. I love her big-time and she's a delightful child, but I am tapped out right now. I feel like she is testing me lately to see how much more I will give her. Crazy as it sounds, it bothers me that she doesn't seem to be very considerate of the fact that she is not an only child and I am just one person.

It's not that she's selfish, because she's not. She just really desires a lot of me.

Here are a couple of examples of the things that are bugging me:

1.) Our car seats 8 people. 3 in the back, 3 in the middle row, and 2 up front. We put our 3 youngest kids in the middle row... Abby, Aidan, & Averleigh... in that order. The 3 big kids sit in the back row.
We drive to Canada every summer and our bio kids are AMAZING, WORLD-CLASS travelers. They LOVE the journey and we break it up with fun things along the way. This being Ashlyn's (& Abby's) first long car ride, we expected that it would not be as "fun" for them. Abby handled it like a pro and did great. Ashlyn... not so much. She pouted and stared out the window and argued about not wanting the middle seat, even though we told the kids in the back row that everyone would have to sit in the middle for part of the journey. Alex & Ansley were just fine with it. I venture to say that Ashlyn told us at least a dozen times every hour that she did not want to sit in the middle. This gets annoying after about the 3rd time. Annoying because why should the other 2 have to sit in the middle and not her? And we reminded her of this fact every time she brought it up, asked her not to bring it up again, and then had to scold her when she would... more pouting. It's not as if they were having a miserable time back there either. They had iTouches, movies, books, wacky mad-libs, snacks, & they put Alex's hair in pig-tails:) There was a lot of laughter, a lot of pit-stops, and a lot of chocolate! And even though she had the time of her life in Canada and even cried when we had to leave, she asks us all the time if we are going to Canada next year and if so, can she stay at home alone.

crazy-fun!


2.) She hated the beach... our very favorite, most needed week of the entire year. It's MY week. It's our down-time, our FAMILY time. We use this week every summer to regroup, refresh, relax, and pray about the upcoming school year... and she pouted and said, "I don't like the beach" every single day. It's not like she doesn't like the water, because she totally does. Swimming is seriously her favorite activity and we spent way more time at the pool than the ocean. But she made up her mind that she didn't like the taste of the ocean water (duh...) and that was that. She never wants to go to the beach again.



enjoying watching the rocket take off from the beach at night.

She loves the pool!

looks like she isn't having too terrible of a time...

 m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e.


3.) School has begun... Praise the Lord for structure and routine!!! I told the big kids that my mornings are devoted to teaching Averleigh and Aidan because they are too young to be independant (Abby goes to school), and that I will be happy to help them with any questions they may have once the little girls are down for naps after lunch. Still, Ashlyn comes to me with her math book, interrupting me every morning. Alex is there, willing to help her, but she is determined not to ask him. Matt is available too, BTW, but she only comes to me, even though I have hurt her feelings on more than one occasion by telling her she has to wait. She has other things to do, but she acts like she doesn't know what they are. We have bought her books on the Kindle, she has academic computer games of all sorts, crafty things to create, games she could play on the Wii, chores that she enjoys, and I even allow her to watch some TV. She is allowed to be in the same room as me. She doesn't have to leave my sight, so it's not like she's totally ignored. Ansley likes to do her work in her room and Alex has a desk in Matt's office. She is also welcome in both of those places and has even been invited. Ashlyn is very good in math, which is pre-algebra. She can do most of it on her own and I do stop quite a bit to explain little things here and there that are quick, but what she really wants is for me to sit down with her and help her do each and every problem. I am just not going to do that every day. Sometimes I do, but it isn't always necessary. It'd be one thing if we weren't together all day long. It's not like she never gets time alone with me, because she does! I spend alone time with each of my kids doing various things throughout the week. She reminds me all the time that she has math homework... It's a math obsession. And it's driving me crazy:)

4.)  Almost every Sunday I take a nap just because Sunday's wipe me out. We come home from church, eat lunch, put the little girls down for a nap, then Matt & the boys watch sports in the family room & I take a nap in my room... ALONE. And everyone knows that this is my time to be alone. Ashlyn and Ansley usually play upstairs or go outside and play, but I can always tell that Ashlyn wants to be entertained by me and doesn't like that we all go our own ways. This morning she asked me if she could watch TV in my room after church and I said, "no". As soon as we walked in the door from church I told the kids to change clothes and come down for lunch. She went upstairs and came back down in the same outfit asking if she could watch TV in my room today... again. Needless to say, I was not happy with her and I made sure she knew it. It is rare that I lose it on her but today was an exception and she sat at lunch pouting. The other thing that she does that pushes my buttons is that she asks me every day if she can wear pants. We live in Florida. It's like 97 degrees here today. In the summer it feels like it's 107. Yet, she asks me almost daily (maybe just weekly now) if she can wear jeans. There have been times I've said yes just so she'd be misreable, learn a lesson, and quit asking. You'd think she wouldn't complain about how hot she is in those pants, but she does...

5.) Ashlyn & Aidan... Oil & Water... Enough said;)

These things are small and much less taxing than many of the issues people have with their adopted children, and if Ashlyn was an only child it would be a piece of cake, but she's not. I would still say that living with her is a piece of cake because on most days I am pinching myself at how "easy" I have it. I feel ashamed that these small things get under my skin. I admit that it's not good that I get flustered by them... But I am only human. I push the urge down most days and pray for grace and patience, but my frustration lies in the fact that I just don't really know all of her yet and I don't know how to communicate all that needs to be said. I can't make up for 13 lost years in 9 months.

If you think about what has just occured in her life, it's incredible that this is our biggest struggle.

I'm not complaining, I'm just venting. Somehow it takes the weight off my shoulders if I can write about it.

Now I will go hug my girl and tell her how thankful I am that she loves me;)

Please pray for me. I've been very irritable lately.

How can I pray for you?

Blessings,
Rebecca

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello Again:)

I am finding it harder and harder to find time to blog lately. I am also having a bit of a writers block. So much has happened in the past 2 & 1/2 years that I simply do not have the energy to empty myself of it. I have been asked to speak at a ladies event at church next Wednesday night on grace. My portion is entitled, "Grace To Love An Orphan" (which I did not title, BTW). Because as we adoptives familes know, it was ever bit as much about God's grace for me as it was about His grace for the orphan... maybe even more so. While I am super excited and so honored to do it, I am scared that I will have a hard time keeping it to 10 short minutes. How do you take 2 & 1/2 years of a miraculous journey and spit it out in 10 minutes and still express the awe and magnitude of all God has done? I am sure it'll be just fine, but please think of me and pray for me next week. Pray that the Lord will give me HIS words and that the Holy Spirit will guide me and that I will obedient to share whatever He puts on my heart. Right now as it stands I am just sharing (briefly) the story of our timeline of events and how we are doing thus far, but there is another whole layer to it that is about me and how God has changed me through this process.  Our church's mission is in planting churches and not necessarily in orphan care and world missions. I am hoping that this opportunity will open the door to more conversations about orphan care within our church. So please be in prayer about that as well.

On to the latest...

ASHLYN HOPE...
Still amazing. Still sweet as can be. Still laughing and making the most of her circumstances. She started 7th grade 2 weeks ago. Our kids homeschool but go to a christian curriculum program that meets once a week. It's turning out to be a great fit for all of us. She is doing really good in math. That's really all the homework she is doing for now and they let her come for free:) We are still working on 2nd grade phonics with Abeka. She reads on about a 2nd grade level.
She is LOUD and talking ALOT these days... Oh my word, she makes my head spin. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And she likes to interrupt me when I'm in other conversations, which is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. She has wonderful manners other than that though... better than my other kids, that's for sure. She does not slurp her food like most Chinese kids, but she gets it ALL over her face. It's quite silly and we have to remind her to use her napkin. She'll say, "no, I don't need it" and we say, "oh yeah? Go look in the mirror!" and she gets this huge smile and says, "Uh-oh, that's ok". :)
She and Ansley are connected at the hip. I am sad to think of what life was like before she was here. Ansley has said repeatedly that she is thankful for the companionship of an older sister. They are almost the same developmental age and have similar interests. They are giggly and playful and helpful and just...AMAZING. I don't know what I'd do without them. They are my biggest helpers around the house. They babysit the little girls when I need to run the boys around town to sports practices or make a fast run to the grocery store, they empty and load the dishwasher, they sort and fold laundry (sometimes without me even asking), they play with the little girls, dress them when I'm in a pinch, and work odd jobs (stuffing envelopes) for daddy to earn big slurpees. I honestly could not do my job as full-time mother and homeschooler to 6 kids without them. When I hear the laughter coming from their bedroom I want to pinch myself. Who would've thought in a million years??? Certainly not me. God is good.

ABIGAIL JOY...
Miss Abby started kindergarten at the school for kids with special needs 2 weeks ago and she is doing fabulous. She has 3 adoring teachers and 12 sweet classmates. She is becoming quite ornery and stinky lately though. She likes to play with scissors and has cut her hair twice now. Ansley caught her in the act for a 3rd time today before she actually chopped anything. Thankfully you can't really tell and she still looks cute as a button:)
She isn't giving as much love to Averleigh lately and I'm a bit worried that the behaviors at school are rubbing off on her. She got in trouble for the first time ever at church 2 weeks ago when she and another little adopted fellow (who's deaf) got into it over a stick.
She doesn't cry when Matt teases her anymore, which is a huge relief. She goes to him as soon as she walks in the door from school and puts her arms up for hugs and kisses. She is saying a few words and signing more. She does "potty" "more" and "thank you". She is understanding much of what we tell her and responds to simple commands (goodness, I make her sound like a dog!).
Overall she is doing really well and growing up so fast! The change in both of our girls is remarkable. When I look back on pictures from China it seems as if they've both aged by 2 or 3 years.

ALEX...
He is growing into a young man right before my eyes. He's sensitive and smart and goofy and just flat out COOL. He is well-liked by all (including the girls unfortunately). He's changing and growing and eating SO much. Right now he's playing football and enjoying being one of the big guys for a change. As soon as football season is over he goes straight into basketball, which is his favorite and best sport. He is really looking forward to that. We are still working our way through the ups and downs of parenting a teenager. It's not an easy job, but very rewarding on the days we have those "a-ha" moments. He's a great talker and shows great discernment for such a young guy. There's something very special about Alex and we tell him that often. He is very hard on himself. We are learning as we go here and I'm thankful for little victories and trusting God for great things. We are starting to talk girls, driving, college, and career... my-oh-my.

ANSLEY...
She is a sweetheart and such a great kid. She's confident and funny and helpful and SMART. She thinks ahead and helps me remember the things I forget... daily. She likes to cook. Eggs are her specialty, although she would tell you that she prefers to bake. She makes friends easily and is eager to include Ashlyn. She just told me that what she likes most about sharing a room with Ashlyn is that it's like having a sleepover with her best friend every night. Pinch me, please:) She loves to go with my mom on catering jobs. She loves to babysit her cousins Jacob (3, autistic) and Liam (1). And they totally ADORE her. When she goes over to my sister-in-laws house she organizes her closets for her:) She has aspirations to be a hair-stylest, shop owner, and movie producer.

AIDAN...
My little frog-loving Dennis-The-Menace, but the sweetest Dennis-The-Menace you'll ever meet. He is such a heartbreaker, but he makes ALL of his siblings crazy, especially Ashlyn. He loves to poke and prod and get a reaction out of her and she's yet to realize that if she could just ignore it he'd quit. She just can't understand why he acts the way he does. She is sweet to him though and does give him many 2nd chances. He'll bug the crap out of her all day long and then they'll be on the couch making Rainbow Loom bracelets together and I'll hear him say, "Thank you for teaching me how to do it Ashlyn. I'm sorry I've been so pesty." He was the first pick of the draft this year in Little League. He is a natural at baseball and we have no idea where he gets it. It is really quite something to watch him out there. He just gets in this zone... so confident. We are so proud of him and thankful that he has an outlet for all that extra energy. He is affectionate and smart and always laughing.

AVERLEIGH...
The sweetest little love I know. I love the age she's at right now (3). She melts my heart when she walks in the room. She's sunshine and lollipop's always. She is changing so much and learning so much... It's heartbreaking to think that my baby is not a baby anymore. She loves her Abby and pets her to death. She has learned how to spell her insanely long name and we are working on writing the letter "A". She has her own curriculum now and loves to do school work. She sings the calendar song and takes it all very seriously. She is everyone's favorite little person:) I love her little voice. She says the cutest things and has a great memory. She's quite logical for a 3-yr-old and comes out with the cutest phrases. She can also be a bit bossy:)

Matt is still in a hard season business-wise. Real Estate is so elusive right now. He's busier than ever, but more frustrated than ever. Deals fall apart more than they come together due to low appraisals and other "stuff". Surgeries for Ashlyn loom ahead. Home repairs are waiting and costly... Business is on the horizon though and we look forward to getting these things out of the way. It seems like so many things are on hold right now and it's been difficult to remain content.

I love what I do. Being a wife & a mom is the most rewarding job in the world. It's been a challenge for me lately to remember details and important things though. I get very distracted and forgetful. I am constantly interrupted. It's hard to find time alone and I am an introvert. I have to get up earlier, go to bed earlier, and sneak away sometimes to catch my breath. The days are full and sometimes exhausting. I find I have to take deep breaths alot. I get anxious when I am constantly on the go. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world though. I do not take my life for granted. I'm blessed to have a supportive husband who works from home too:)

I am considering making this blog private very soon for several reasons. I have no idea how many people actually read my blog on a regular basis. If you would like to continue following along, please let me know. I want to be a source for other potential adoptive families and I love keeping in touch with my bloggy friends, but I'm not sure I want just "anyone" reading the personal details of our life anymore.

What's going on in your life? How can I pray for you?

Blessings,
Rebecca

Thursday, August 15, 2013

URGENT NEED FOR A FAMILY

Are you or someone you know interested in adoption? Lifeline Children's Services has just added some newly listed children to their website, including a PRECIOUS 13 year old girl named "Daphne" who has Down Syndrome. She turns 14 in March, so we need to move fast y'all! She is PRECIOUS!!! She deserves the love of a forever family. Please pass this on and pray for this child! You may not feel called to adopt, but you can post this on Facebook or pass it on in an email. When we work together to advocate for the fatherless children it is amazing the things that happen! If you are interested in more info on Daphne, you can also email Mallory Blackmon at mallory.blackmon@lifelinechild.org.

Blessings,
Rebecca

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cocoa Beach 2013 ...

Sunrise on the beach

OUR FAVORITE BEACH PICTURES...













The little guy on the left is Aidan's friend Finnley. His mom, Jen, told me that on their way over to the beach Finn was telling his cousin all about his friend Abby and how she has "Downtown Syndrome" :) He is so sweet!!!

Me & my sweet friend Jen

The following pictures were taken one evening while waiting for a rocket launch

L.O.V.E. (Ashlyn got her V & E backwards)

Sweetness from Heaven.

So grown up...





My crazy boys...

Daddy & his girls...



You can see the rocket off in the distance where the sky is all lit up...



Such a fun night!
OUR FAVORITE PICTURES FROM THE POOL...








Abby did great swimming this week!

Ashlyn has pretty much taught herself  how to swim.



We had such a great week... I was able to read almost an entire book, which is something I never have enough time to do at home and it was amazing. We spent the mornings at the beach and then headed to the pool for a few minutes before heading up for lunch. After lunch, the little girls would go down for naps, I'd head to the pool (usually solo), Matt would get some work done, and the big kids would either come down to swim or stay back at the condo and watch TV. After naps the kids would come down to the pool and then we'd either make dinner or go out and then go get frozen yogurt and head home for more beach time...

School starts next week. I feel ready to take it on now. Before I got that text from Amy I was depressed and unsure how I would be able to regroup and get my act together for another year of homeschool... Now I am totally ready for what lies ahead this year, even though it will be a big year of new things for our entire family...




Blessings,
Rebecca