Our Ballerina Princess turned 9 today.  NINE.

So hard to believe she’s one year away from double digits!  I could not be more proud of the girl she is becoming.  She is kind and generous (she was worried her brother would be sad not getting a gift and insisted on stopping to pick out a present for him this morning).  She is warm and gentle.  And vivacious and fun.  If you had asked me 2 or 3 years ago if I ever thought she would be such a delightful, mature young lady, I honestly would have said no.  But the Lord has grown her heart and her mind in such dramatic ways this year.  She’s come so far since the day she catapulted into our lives. So very far.  And I’m insanely proud of her.


She’s an amazingly adventurous eater. Last year for her birthday dinner she wanted lamb. This year she requested mussels and sautéed carrots. This girl loves seafood. If you can catch it in the ocean, she’ll eat it!  Hubs cooked the mussels in a white wine butter sauce with thyme and garlic and I sautéed the carrots and baked honey whole wheat rolls. It was a simple but delicious feast.


Of course, she wanted ice cream cake for dessert- loaded with sprinkles.  So, you know, she’s still got nine year old taste buds too.  ; )


I love the priceless look on her face when she opened her Bible.  She’s been wanting her own, grown-up bible for a long time and has been working so hard on reading so she can read it on her own.


Her favorite gift was a microscope kit. She spent the rest of the afternoon finding things to look at and waxing eloquent on being a scientist. ❤


Happy Birthday, sweet Ballerina Princess!  You are loved and adored more than you could ever know!


Fave Five

FFF fall leaves 2

Friday Fave Five is hosted by Susanne each week and offers a place for us to come together and share favorites moments and blessings of the week.  It’s a great exercise in gratitude!

1. Grandpa is here! Grandpa comes out to the East Coast a few times a year for business and always extends his travel so we can spend the weekend together.

gpa and gma 1-15

A picture from Grandpa’s visit last January, when Grandma got to come along! ❤

We wish Grandma could be here as well, but are grateful for all the family time we can get out here.  Never take for granted being close to family.  It’s a joy and a treasure that we miss dearly. (Close, for us, means four hours driving or less.  That’s the closest we’ve ever lived to family. Oh for the day we could live in the same city!! ❤ )

2. Fun times at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.


3. A warm home as weather gets cold and wet. We’re praying for people affected by Hurricane Joaquin in the Bahamas and for people already experiencing flooding along the East Coast.

4. Happy hearts and funny words.  Little Warrior had a rough week last week (he was growing and oh-so-cranky) but this week has been delightful and filled with so much laughter. He’s been on a role with hilarious little one-liners that get me giggling.

At the Renn Faire, as this knight rode out, he enthusiastically exclaimed , “Mom! He’s the stuff legends are made of!”


And while on the phone with my Mum after karate yesterday, he started chocking on his oatmeal because, you know, you’re supposed to swallow before shoving 4 more bites in your mouth (did I mention he’s been growing like a bean sprout..?? Eat ravenously. Sleep. Repeat.). After dealing with the lack of oral space issue, he worried aloud, “I think my digestive track is broken”, sending us into fresh peals of laughter.  As his sweet Mema assured him we were laughing WITH him, not AT him, he replied matter-of-factly, “I know.  It happens all the time.”  These weeks of hilarity keep me pushing on through the tough ones.   🙂

5. Sweaters, scarves & boots- oh my!  While I may detest the cold and dreary winters out here, I sure do love getting to pull out my wellies (most comfortable shoes I own!) and snuggle up in cozy, knitted goods.

Face Paint and Bagpipes

This past weekend I took the Princess and her friend to the Renaissance Festival.  And the next day I took Little Warrior on a date just the two of us.  He picked the Renn Faire too, and we enjoyed having an entertaining afternoon out together.  We saw…

A real jousting match.




Archery demonstrations.



Our favorite metal bagpipes band.

(Yea, it’s a thing. And we love it. The kids talk about seeing them play all year and one of their albums is always in the minivan’s CD player. This year they even played snippets of Metallica and Violent Femmes. Legit.)


The kids all got face paint. Dear goodness, they’re gorgeous! IMG_2337 IMG_2387

We visited the Museum of Unnatural History (complete with the Cyclops’ second eye and Medusa’s head) and got lost in a giant maze.
IMG_2355 IMG_2346

Such a fun weekend full of yummy foods, fascinating sights, and good friends!

IMG_2316 IMG_2356