Category: Fun

Jan 04 2017

Fireworks after the Greenville Drive Game!

With a new year comes a lot of excitement!  The feeling of a fresh start in many areas of our lives, planning for future events and adventures, new goals, and more!  Everyday is a blessing!  While we welcome in the New Year don’t forget to reflect on the many blessings that you have enjoyed over the past year(s).  I encourage you to initiate a conversation with your family (it can be during a family dinner, game night, or any good time when everyone is present).  During this family time focus on these three things as a family to start off your New Year right.  This time together will make a positive impact on the hearts and lives of each individual family member and is worth it:

  1. Reflect back the fun memories and blessings of 2016!  Often the hardest part with this stage is getting the ball rolling.  Before the family time create a list of several good family memories to get it started.  Mention one and let others input their memories tied into that event as well as start adding their own memories.  Give everyone a chance who wants to talk the opportunity.  If there is a pause bring up a different memory to keep them going.  Before long you’ll be laughing and the kids will be bringing up memories connected to the event or new ones that you forgot about.  This is a wonderful way to end a year and begin a new one.
  2. Take a moment to think about the tough times over the past year! While the harder times are not easy to deal with or will bring back sadness or emotions they still have an impact on our lives.  Sometimes during these times of discussion you realize that a family member is still struggling with something.  Whether it is grief over a lost pet or loved one, anger, frustration, or something else.  This is a good time to gauge how everyone is doing and give you an opportunity to encourage each other or help those family members heal.  The love and support you receive from those around you can make an incredible impact on your life as you continue to move forward.  Knowing you are not alone, you are loved, and you have a team of people who want to help you can help the family member heal more quickly.  (Do not use this time to point out problems with each other, but to talk about harder times and to encourage.  Some topics made need to be tabled for a later and more lengthy conversation)  It will give you a good insight into your children and some ideas of what to help encourage them with over the next few weeks as they continue to grow and heal.
  3. Look ahead! As one year wraps up and a new one begins it is a great time to set some goals both personally and as a family.  Use this time to set family goals together.  There may be some activities that the kids have been wanting to do, but you have been letting it slip not even realizing that it was very important to them.  The goals discussed during this family  time should be family related, although they most definitely have a personal impact on each family member.  Write these goals down and review them weekly or monthly or regularly throughout the year to remind the family members of what is important to the family as a whole.  This also provides a lead in for each of the members to think about their personal goals.  It allows a great opportunity to have a group of people focused on similar goals and encouraging each other along the way.  Some family goal ideas (eat healthier, regular family game night, monthly date night with spouse and each child, daily family devotions, learn a new skill together, plan a family vacation, weekly family night, quarterly family service project, etc…).  Make a point to write the ideas down and either make a decision that day or within a few days on the family goals.  Type up a list, print it or email it to each family member so that they can be reminded of the ways your family is working together to create stronger bonds, happy memories, and improving lives.

Setting aside a time when everyone is together can be difficult, however it is important.  It can be during a family dinner, game night, or another time when the family is together.  Make sure it is a convenient time with as little distractions as possible.  A time when everyone is more relaxed (not hungry, ready for bed, or trying to multi-task while having this conversation).  The reflecting on memories helps create a happy bond, the tough times allow family members to see that they are not alone and have the support of people who love them, and looking ahead gives you the opportunity to improve and grow into a better individuals and family unit.  If you do write down the family goals please do your best to follow through as much as possible because these goals are important to the members.

Life has a way of staying busy.  Taking the time to spending reflecting on good memories as a way has a way of bringing everyone together.  It may cause some laughter, tears, and healing.  It is good to be reminded of the many blessings in our life and to realize that we are journeying through this life together.   Yes, we make mistakes along the way, but we can can make the best of it and have a lot of fun too.  Many blessings to you and your family this 2017 New Year!!!

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Sep 17 2016

Glacier Bay National Park and New Holland Zaandam Alaska Cruise Family Vacation

 Happy Birthday Jake (AKA Daddy)!!! XOXO

I am just now getting our pictures updated from our last big adventure, so yes a little later than planned….  Our family was able to celebrate Jake’s birthday this year while on our Alaska Cruise vacation!  Thankful for an opportunity to spend time with the whole family.

We surprised Jake and had the chef on the cruise ship make him a birthday cake!  It was big and extra rich chocolate!  The crew sang him “Happy Birthday” in Indonesian which was really cool.  He was so thrilled that we made a big spectacle of his birthday celebration.  We were so full after the delicious meal that we ended up taking the cake back to the cabin to eat later that night after all the other activities that evening.

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SURPRISE!!!  Happy Birthday Handsome!

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 Celebrating Jake’s birthday with the whole family.

Thankful for a wonderful time together and for this amazing man who I get to live my life with!

Love you JACOB!!!  Happy Birthday!  Wishing you many more healthy, happy, and fun adventures!

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Sep 17 2016

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Pool and inside deck area on the ship!

Once we were back on the New Holland Zaandam cruise ship after exploring the town of Seward, Alaska we were able to check out more of the ship.  The girls were thrilled to see all the cool activities and places on the ship.  They couldn’t wait to try out the pool deck, play a little bit, and try out the different foods as well as fun activities that were coming up that week.  Thankful for the opportunity to spend this time with the family.  We had a blast spending time together.  It was a wonderful family vacation!

Alaska, Alaska Cruise, Zaandam, New Holland, Wildlife Conservatory

Testing out the courts…..they had fun even in the rain! 🙂

Cruising on the Alaska Trip - New Holland Zaandam - Summer Vacation

 Brina enjoying her first dinner on the cruise.  She found out that although the window views were nice at dinner it was a little chilly and she needed her jacket!

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Our first night on-board the ship and heading to dinner!

p1680531cBrina and I trying to stay warm at the evening meal.  We were trying to get used to the cooler weather after coming from the 100 plus degrees we were having that week in South Carolina!

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Jake and Karlie having fun at our first dinner on the cruise!

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Sep 17 2016

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First glimpse at our Home-Away-From-Home this week as we pulled into the Seward Port!

We made it to Port Seward and caught the first glimpse of our ship!  The kids were super excited (and Dad & Mom too)!  We arrived at a good time so were able to drop our luggage off, go through the check in process, drop items most of the backpack items off in our rooms, and head back out to tour the town of Seward.  Our visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center  took up the majority of the time we had in the town, but was a great activity for the whole family.  It was a cloudy and misty day in Seward, however, we still had a wonderful time.  It was a beautiful area, small town, and the local people we met were very nice.

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Beautiful views as we roll into the town of Seward

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 Someone crashed on the way to  the port!

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Sweet girls having fun in Seward and excited about going on our Alaska cruise

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Gorgeous area!

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Sep 12 2016

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Our family at Glacier Bay National Park!

On our Alaska cruise we were able to visit Glacier Bay National Park.  It was BEAUTIFUL!!!  The day started out as rainy and cool, but it cleared up as we were getting closer to the glaciers.  The overcast, misty, and foggy day gave it a really neat look.  Thankful for the opportunity to visit this beautiful place.  We LOVED hearing the glaciers snap, crackle, pop, and watching them slide into the water.

The water was a gorgeous blue color with lots of ice chunks floating around into it.  The lines and colors in the glaciers were super pretty.  You could really see a lot of the dirt, rocks, and items that the glaciers brought down through the mountains and valleys with it.  It was a super fascinating experience!   We took a lot off pictures, but even the pictures don’t do it justice.  We even saw several animals while on the boat going through Glacier Bay…a bear near a camp site with campers in a tent, otters swimming in the water, and more!

We had the privilege of visiting Glacier Bay National Park on it’s 100 anniversary!  While we were cruising through Glacier Bay National Forest Rangers were giving talks and sharing information about the area.  It was a very educational and fun activity for the whole family!

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 Overcast, but beautiful in Glacier Bay National Forest

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Our family on the deck of the ship with a glacier in the background!

Glacier Bay National Prrk - Alaska Cruise, Family Vacation - New Holland Cruise

 Big glacier!

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 The water, mountains, and beaches were pretty at Glacier Bay

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 The fog made it have an even more distinct and beautiful look to it

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 A private boat in Glacier Bay

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You can see from the striachens on the rock where the water ran down it into the turquoise water below

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 You can see the waterfalls coming down the mountains

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 You can see all the rocks, dirt, and items that a recent glacier moved down this mountain.. Fascinating that ice can move that many items along with it!

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 Huge glacier coming down between two mountains and into the water!

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Love the beautiful colors and lines in the glacier

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Water streaming down the mountain!

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 Iceberg floating in the water below us

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 Glacier coming around the corner of the moutnain

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My favorite people – thankful for my family!

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 Massive iceberg, part of a glacier!

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A little cave like area of the glacier

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On the middle-right side of the picture you can see something that looks like a cloud near the water?  That is actually a part of the ice breaking off and falling into the water.  It was loud and super cool to watch!

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 Freezing cold, but gorgeous to see so close!

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 Brina hanging out on the deck and trying not to get too cool

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 I knew the glaciers were a pretty turquoise just didn’t expect it to be so vivid and beautiful in person!

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Mesmerizing watching the water splashing along beside us.  Peaceful and pretty at the same time!

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