It looked like a great day for a little family hike. . . so we did. Dukes Creek Falls.
Jared and I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Night to Shine event sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation. I’ll be honest I had no idea who Tim Tebow was before this. Haha. The foundation puts on a prom for special needs guests who get the red-carpet treatment and are each crowned prom king or queen. It was the sweetest night! We were able to meet many of the guests and then escort their parents to an event especially for them while their child had the time of his or her life. I left with a full heart and a deeper gratitude for God’s plan for each of us. It was a night I will always remember and something that I hope I can be a part of year after year.
Liam- Mom you know those fake eyelashes you can buy in the store?
Liam- I will never need to wear those because when I close my eyes, my eyelashes are so long.
S- And because you are a boy. So there’s that, too.
I got in a car accident. That sucked. But then we got this rental car. That did not suck. I’m pretty sure Liam feels like his life is now fulfilled. And the weather happened to be 70 and sunny. In January. Score!
(We had actually reserved a convertible when we went to Oregon this summer. We had really talked it up with the kids, but when we got to the car rental place they did not have any in. The kids were super disappointed.)
This boy lost his first tooth. He has been telling me it’s loose for several months now, but I never really believed him. I never looked closely because loose teeth gross me out. Plus, I thought he’s too little. And by “little” I mean young… I mean he’s my baby! And now his teeth are falling out! Wahhhh! Someone stop the clock! I’m not ready!
He let Daddy yank it out. Easy as pie.
We are totally taking advantage of the three day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend with a little family trip. We have wanted to camp at Manatee State Park in Florida for a while, but I did not realize how hard it would be to book a campsite. We were way too late in our planning to secure a campsite so we decided to stay in a little Inn on Cedar Key, a tiny island off the coast. The trip was amazing! Cedar Key is tiny and remote. We biked the whole island over and over again. We sat and watched amazing sunsets together and gorged ourselves on the best donuts ever! It is a quaint little fishing town where everyone knows everyone and no one locks their doors. We loved it!
We spent one day at Manatee State Park. This was super fun! The park is part of the protected warm springs area in Florida. The water stays in the mid seventies year round so the manatees swim in during the cold winter months to keep warm. Unfortunately it has not been cold enough yet this year for them to be in the springs. We did rent a canoe and got to see two manatees migrating from the river towards the springs. It was so awesome! We sat in the canoe and just watched the first one we spotted for a good 30 minutes. The water from the springs to the river is crystal clear so he was easy to spot and watch. The second one we spotted was cruising out of the channel from the springs back to the river. We canoed right along side him for a few minutes before he really took off. This was by far one of the coolest things we have done as a family.
After canoeing we changed and swam in the springs. The water is an amazing blue color and the the place where we were swimming was the opening to an underground cave system that goes 90 feet underground. There were a lot of scuba divers checking out the cave systems. They say when it gets really cold out there can be as many as 300 manatees huddled together in the springs where we were swimming!
We waited and waited and it finally came! Snow! Not a lot but enough ice to cancel school for two days so we’ll take it! We played out side, made yummy treats, and built the robot Liam got for Christmas. Great family bonding in those 600+ pieces!
We participated in the light the world campaign this year. Service for 25 days in 25 ways. It was so much fun! My favorite part was leaving school every day and the kids asking “Who are we going to serve today?” Here are the things we did. We can’t wait to do it again next year and to make service a bigger focus in our daily lives. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his perfect example of selflessness and service. May we ever strive to be more like him!
- Helped a family member deal with anxiety.
- Wrote letters to loved ones.
- Took friends to a live nativity show.
- Lydia gave a talk in church about the Birth of Christ.
- Donated blood
- Made breakfast for administrators at school
- Donated cases of our favorite foods to a local food pantry
- Prayed for friends and family by name
- Raked leaves for others
- Paid the toll for the car behind us
- Donated toys to the giving tree
- Donated new pants to kids in need
- Dinner for someone sick
- Donated clothes to needy
- Let kids cut us in line to ride first
- Made treats for the missionaries
- Went to support a friend at his baptism
- Took dinner to a friend who had a baby
- Made treats for teachers
- Took dinner to my cousin on bed rest
- Candy cane bombed a parking lot with friends
- Lydia donated 9 inches of her hair to girls with hair loss diseases
- Delivered treats to friends and kids’ primary teachers
- Made Christmas treats for neighbors
- Visited sister in hospital
We were very blessed with another fabulous year of health, strength, and love. We are eternally grateful for all we have. Merry Christmas!