Saturday, November 16, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013

Our Family Vacation this year started with a drive to Muskegon MI, then to MN for a short stop at Grampa Rod & Gramma Pam's, then Tim headed to Lake Beauty Bible Camp to speak for the week, and Maria joined him with the kids mid-week, then home.  A great 2 weeks filled with some great family memories!!
Auntie Lori with Sammie, Emma & Caleb
Never gets as fast as you can off the end of the dock!

Caleb is having a blast with his cousins at Grampa Rod & Gramma Pam's lake

Emma takes Josiah for a kayak ride

Samantha watches grampa clean the fish

Josiah was brave & attempted water skiing - Mom's dream come true!

A nice visit to Gramma & Papa's

Caleb jumping right in to the capture the flag game with the Sr Highers @ LBBC

Caleb, not afraid of the climbing wall/zipline

If you can't tell from his face, he opted out of climbing - I was shocked

We got a personal horse back ride

Caleb loved it

Josiah LOVED it

First time horse back riding?

Josiah got to be the lead

Samantha got to ride with Mom

We were glad we had our bikes, LBBC has tons of property

Samantha & Daddy walking back to our cabin from chapel

view of the kids playing in the volleyball courts, while I'm at the chapel - I love this place
Building sandcastles
Building sandcastles
Pretty Ballerina at the beach
Beautiful view
Playing in the big waves
So much fun in the big waves
Wave surfin
Beautiful sunsets every night
Josiah was doing a little light reading
Storm waves, so pretty & so powerful
My favorite spot
Another beautiful sunset
We brought our bikes, for the first time on vacation

Kiddos in front of our cabin

My daily view & moments to unwind & reflect

Visiting Mark & Debbie @ their lake home

Samantha enjoyed her Grandpa Rod time by the campfire

Caleb & Max roasting things at Grampa Rod & Gramma Pams

Gramma Pam kept the goodies coming for the fire

Fall 2013

 These are pictures of a few things we HAVE been up to this Fall...You'll noticed that things NOT pictured are...Cleaning, Parents sleeping, Yard Maintenance, Journaling, Scrap-booking, Going on dates.  That's because that list does NOT happen these days.  It's a rarity to find a clean room in our house, a perfectly behaved child, or a waking moment when SOMEONE is not crying.

Samantha is just getting  more beautiful every day
Laurey helping Josiah carve his pumpkin

Samantha & Daddy getting some sunshine during a tough MN Vikings game
 Caleb received a great book from his Dad, titled, The Dangerous Book for Boys.  In it, Caleb became facinated with the chapter on 'Building your own go-kart'.  So, Mom took Caleb to the hardware store to buy the plank, which he was excited to paint, but we could not get any further without the help of Grampa Rod.  So, during their October visit, Caleb & Grampa built the go-kart & enjoyed the adventures of building it & taking it for its maiden voyage.
Grampa Rod & Caleb building his Go-Kart
The finished product - looks just like the pictures in the book
Grampa Rod & Gramma Pam with the 3 Ciccone Kids

Gramma Pam reads stories
Walk to School Wednesday - a big Hit

Samantha attempted potty training
We attempted to get one of the 'babies' out of diapers, hoping to reduce the # of diapers and time spent changing down by 1/3.  After about a month of trying to figure it out (just of the top of my head & crazy ideas), we have gone back to diapers and changing....oh well, maybe next year?
Samantha's smile & cuteness got her a doughnut at Caleb's football game (from another team's mom)

Ke'Ron fell asleep, sitting up, during Caleb's playoffs...3 games.
 The common question these days about these 2 cuties is 'You still have them?'... to which I smile and answer least until 2014 - who knows how long in 2014, but (now I'm laughing), we are thinking they'll go to live with their birth-mom in 2014 - we don't hold our breath though & we'll keep them as long as necessary for her to be stable & be able to take care of them properly.
Ke'Mari stayed happy, but no sleeping for this little crazy.

Coach Grantham, hugging Caleb after their Championship game win.
 Flag Football is always a great season & we thoroughly enjoyed watching Josiah debut on his 1st grade league (he dominated, of course) & Caleb's team brought home the big trophy, winning their 3rd grade division - Go Jets (Josiahs) & Go Wildcats (Caleb)

Josiah Hustlin' & givin' some poor dude the fake.
Mom & Caleb cheering on Josiah

Caleb & Daddy enjoying the team trophy

Samantha wearing her unicorn costume to church for trunk r treat

Josiah was bashful about me taking his picture during the Halloween parade.

Caleb managed a little pose with Joshua during the Halloween parade at school.

Money in their Halloween cards from grandparents.

The little unicorn enjoying a cookie by the bonfire on Halloween night...before trick r treating.

The 3 big kid's Jack o Lanterns...carved with the help of L.K.
Our annual tradition during Halloween is to sit out at the end of the driveway with our bonfire, hot dogs and hot cider, handing out candy, visiting with the neighbors & sharing cider & dogs with all.  Samantha enjoyed going to her first house this year...4 in all & the big boys enjoyed being 'independent', going to houses with their friends (armed with a walkie talkie, with Dad on the other end)
sleeping beauty

The twins cuddling - they are suppose to be in their own beds - Disobedient!!

AND we found time to remodel our basement, adding a bathroom & bedroom
I am grateful for the challenges God has placed in my life, although they are tough & sometimes feel like I've not got enough to  make it through, I reach out & He is there, through the support of friends & love of my family, we can do this together.