Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Grace is EIGHT! Make It Stop!



She was ONE.

And then she was TWO.

Before we knew it she was THREE.

And then came FOUR.

She was FIVE.

And then SIX.

SEVEN has been an amazing year.

But now she is EIGHT!  Eight!  OMGoodness, how did this happen.  How did all these years fly by so quickly.  It is KILLING me.  My baby is EIGHT!

Grace is truly amazing.  She is so funny, so loving, so stubborn, so frustrating.  So shy and yet, so wacky and wonderful when she's in her comfort zone.  She is turning into the sweetest big sister and and still BFF with her brother Haven.

She is smart and and of course, the most beautiful girl I know.

  • Her favorite color is still rainbow.
  • Her favorite food is steak.
  • Her favorite movie is Big Hero Six.
  • Her favorite thing to do is play Minecraft (she is obsessed and I think she's really good at it).
  • Her favorite object in the whole house is a her blue pillow. 
  • Her favorite holiday is Valentines.
  • When she grows up she is going to take care of me when I get old (yes, that is exactly what the little creep said)!
I hope that when I am old and she is taking care of me that she is also gainfully employed!  So that's my little nut, in a nutshell.  Every year she gets more wonderful and every year I stop and thank God that at just the right moment our paths crossed and I was the one who got to be her mama.  Happy Birthday my Amazing Grace!









Monday, March 16, 2015

Camping Party of Eight: Spring Break at Bastrop

For the record, I love that little face down there.  That is Luke.  He calls me Miss Carrie. He climbs right up on my lap like he is just another one of my tribe.  LOVE that boy.  And his whole wonderful Solberg family.  



,
So, the Wood's and Solberg's went out for another wonderful camping trip. Lauree Solberg is the absolute best person in the world to go camping with.  She thinks of everything.  She plans it all for you!  Brian and Lauree even went grocery shopping together before the trip.  All I had to do was show up and sit around by the camp fire!  AMAZING!


We spent 4 days and 3 nights at Bastrop State Park. Bastrop had a terrible fire a few years back, so a lot of the park was damaged, but we ended up with a WONDERFUL camping spot. Two sites right next to each other, backed up to a creek.  And with the nicest campground bathrooms EVER!


That was one heavy log!


I LOVE camping!


I LOVE camping!


I LOVE having my picture taken!


While we were in Bastrop, Grace and Jenna earned their Junior Park Ranger Badges.  This is their official swearing in ceremony.





Did I mention that I LOVE CAMPING!


Oh Yeah!


I am so excited!


Beautiful Congo Girls!


We did a lot of climbing on this trip.  A LOT!


Up the log....


And down the log!


It was a really big log!!!


Manny decided to give it a try. He, it turns out, is not as good at climbing logs as JoJo.



He had to be rescued by Daddy....



And Mr. Jeff!


Then Daddy had to figure out how to get back over the river.  We had several falls in the creek.  We went through many, many pairs of shoes and pants!

Haven was the first to fall in!  But as you can see it didn't sap his enthusiasm for the adventure.





We saw some wildlife on our trip.  Penguins?


An adorable bunny.....


...and some equally adorable cuddle bunnies!


Louise stopped from time to time to take a quick nap....


.....just kidding, Mama!



Did I mention we did some climbing!





Oh, another nap!


But not for long!


One of our most wonderful events was an engineering project.  The kids collected a ton of fallen limbs and built themselves a small dam/bridge over the creek so they could get back and forth to the camp sight faster.  It was really awesome to see the level of cooperation and teamwork these kiddos put forth to accomplish their goal!


We encountered the occasional scary monster during our trip.  Fortunately, he's not nearly as scary in the day light :)




On our third day we took a good long trail hike. It wore them all out and resulted in a good nights sleep (finally)! We tried to stop on this bridge for a quick photo op, but as usual we just couldn't get the whole pack to look at the camera.


Or to look enthusiastic!



Luke and Louise were adorable together on the hike.  Bosom buddies!





We stopped for a break at a lovely little lake and took more pictures.


I love Lauree Solberg!  Super Mama!


Jeff, her husband, is in the witness protection program.


How Brian looks after 3 days of camping with 10 kids.


Ok, that's better.


Sweet hugs from my sweet Kat!



My bangs look hideous.  Why didn't someone tell me???


Mama and Daddy in a rare photo together.





Our last hour camping and last attempt at a family photo.


Fail.


And fail again.  Well, at least we know Grace and Jenna had fun!


And now it is Sunday night and I am suffering from an extra bad case of "Spring Break is Over" Blues!  I know I can't live in vacation mode forever, but I get so blue when I think about how quickly my babies are growing up and how many amazing moments I miss when I am away from them each day at work.  I guess this is something that every parents deals with.  I just feel like I don't have enough hours in each day to squeeze in all the hugs and kisses that my sweet kiddos need.  Or that I need in return!  Well, I guess I'd better start planning that next camping trip.  Lauree, where should we go next?
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