Saturday, February 25, 2017

Arizona Trip

A few days ago I returned from a quick trip to visit my sister and her family in Arizona. It had been over a year since we've seen each other. It certainly was wonderful to be in her home and visit over a few days. 
 Emma was so good at putting together Legos.
 Sunday was wonderful- we went to their church, which had a great message about the gospel, then had lunch and relaxed. After that we walked the mall and went to Oregano's for dinner. 
 Monday we went on a hike.
 I was able to meet the James friends as we spent the day hiking, picnicking, and going out for shave ice!
 It was so great to feel the warm sun on my skin and see this beautiful view from the top!!
These kids did great!
 
I love this sweet family.
Tuesday we had a girls morning with shopping and eating. My friend Michelle actually flew out to AZ with me to meet up with her friend that goes to my sister's church. What a small world, right?! 
It was so special to have extra time with my sister. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Well my Valentine's Day was pretty special. I was able to hang out with this little cupid :)
Geneva and I cooked a meal for friends in the morning. She's a good sous chef!
We had a heart shaped meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and asparagus for dinner. Then we played games, like most Tuesday night. So thankful for the love of this family. We are constantly reminded what true love is- forgiveness and sacrifice. We see that perfect example in Christ, and are thankful beyond measure to live in His grace. That's the only way we can share that kind of love with one another.

Monday, February 13, 2017

More Cali

We had to hit up In N Out before leaving. It's just so good.
 
We had some sweet time with Abby.
 Maddie and Abby have been like sisters since they were 3. They have the dearest relationship. 
I'm so thankful for it. They've started being pen pals :)
 And one last stop before the airport :)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

More Cali

 One of the highlights from our visit was going to church. We love Grace Community- the history of faithful preaching, the ways we've been taught from God's Word, and the long list of people who have input in our lives makes that place feel like home.
This month marks MacArthur's 48th year as pastor here. He also announced that Grace is completely debt free this month. It's exciting to see how this body of believers have faithfully given and serve to make this church what it is. Maddie's 2nd grade Sunday school teacher was the same as when I was in second grade. So many people faithfully serve year after year!
 We loved getting to know the Jones family on this trip. Finny and Maddie became sweet friends.
 I'm pretty sure if we came to Grace every week one of my kids would end up in the fountain. 
I'll let you take a guess as to who would take the plunge first :)
 We got in a little Malibu time as a family.
 Geneva loved digging while the guys took a stroll down the beach.
Getting wet in February.
So that's a big crab!
 Of course, they had to get COVERED in sand!
I just love the beauty here.
 We ended up going to Malibu Farm for dinner.
 Love these people so much!
 What a silly bunch!
 I'm so thankful for our time together.
     I miss the days when my mom and I would just head to the beach for a little visit. It doesn't really matter what time of year or day- the beach with family is always a good idea.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Zoo and The Master's University

 We had a great day at the LA Zoo!
 
 It was fun meeting up with the Charles family (who we know from DC and moved to LA) at the zoo.
 After spending a day at the zoo, we went to the Master's University for an alumni get together.
Jesse was up there earlier in the week for board meetings and was able to see the grand opening of the bookstore. 
I love the guys faces!
I think I want this flooring put in all over my house. It's beautiful! 
We also met some sweet friends while there.
All the girls had a blast on the bounce houses and getting their faces painted at the alumni dinner.
Another night we had friends over for pizza and games. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Horse Back Riding in CA

Here are the kids at the end of the flights to CA (it was 3am VA time).
The kids were troopers, but ready to be at Papa and Mimi's house!
The next day we went horse back riding at one of my mom's friend's house.
Miss Janet was so kind to let us ride her horses and even set out a scavenger hunt for each person! 
  Each person had a bag filled with trail mix, markers, and horse coloring books.
We met some new friends (the Jones family) and these two cuties hit it off!
 




 

What a fun way to start off our CA trip!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lately...

 We got to visit with Eric and Leslie Davis this week for a little bit. Hard to believe that between the Standridges, Davis, and us that we have 10 kids! We've all been friends for about 12-15 years, so seeing our families grow is a joy.
 I love my mornings with this little one. 
It's so special to have alone time with her when the bigger girls are at school.
The girls love Christy to bits.
 And Alex is alright :)
 Poor guy- he took it from my girls!
 Ok, let's settle down for bedtime.
 We love going for walks in the back yard. 
After 5 years of living here, it's still hard to believe this is home!

 So in some ways this has been a hard week, but in the challenges I've seen God at work. We've had sickness, bronchitis, ear infection, infected tooth that had to get pulled, migraines, and the heat broke. God was good to let us see Him in those challenges. I was reminded that in Heaven there will be no pain; but we will see Him face to face and be able to worship Him with no sin entangling us. That's what we hope for! This earth doesn't promise us heath, comfort, and ease; but rather we should remember we live in a fallen and broken world because of our own sin. 
We have a great home to look forward to. 
The kids have had a blast camping out in the basement by the wood burning stove the last 4 nights. We should get our heat (and a whole lot more) replaced tomorrow.
And this morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow. I love how God can make us white as snow with His perfect forgiveness. Can you see the girls by the creek? This was BEFORE school.