There are no other words to describe this vacation - it truly was great! We could not have asked for a better week (a longer one, but not a better one). I am still amazed at how well the adults and children got along. And I still want to be friends with all of them! :)

We did have to delay our trip by a day b/c of Hurricane Ike. There was a surprising storm surge in the area where our house is, so about 4 feet of sand got washed up under the house and over the driveway and streets in front of it. Yikes! We went ahead and left Saturday morning, met up with Joel and Alice in Shreveport, then Mike and Carrie in Vicksburg, then stayed the night in Jackson, Miss. It was a lot fun despite losing a day at the beach.

Highlights include:
  • Clark getting to spend so much quality time with the kids, especially Andrew - we have underestimated how much they both need that
  • catching up with the Fankhausers - such great friends who we love so much!
  • seeing Andrew and Silas become best buds
  • watching Corinne run around in the sand
  • having family pictures made
  • spending almost every afternoon in beach chairs with Alice and Carrie having "stare and share" time!
  • bonfires on the beach after dark - plus smores! Thanks Carrie.
  • sharing such a special place with family and friends - the beach is like breath to my lungs, it was a much needed vacation

The only difficult part of the trip was that the day before we left I found out someone very special to me had unexpectedly passed away. My youth pastor's wife died from a blood clot after surgery while in Bangkok, Thailand. They had just moved to China with their three youngest boys to teach.

I'll have to write another post about Ruth and how special she was and how much she means to me. I'm still processing a lot, and trying to reconcile her not being here anymore.

However, her passing did not overshadow this vacation. It encouraged me to enjoy life with my family and such great friends.

It was a great week. :)

i love my wife

Number 11!

Erin, that's you!

I hope you'll share with Baby Cara!

I used to generate a random number, so all was fair.

Thanks so much for all your comments! I have a huge reading list now, and I've already checked out half of the books you suggested from the library. I can't wait to read through the entire list.

Let's do this again y'all!

P.S. - Katy, I bought "The Shack" like the day before you commented and I'm already reading it!

P.P.S. - MIsty, I read "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" after you suggested it last Spring, and I really liked it a lot.

P.P.P.S. - Kim, I read "Peace Like A River" last Spring, I think, and thought it was really good, too.

For real(s).

In order to win this super cute bag I whipped up today, you have to leave me a comment with a good vacation book recommendation.

We're leaving for Gulf Shores on Saturday, and I need some reading material folks.

And here's the prize:

It is the first bag I have ever made in this style, so I hope y'all like it. It measures 11in x 6in x 4in. There are also three pockets. And it has a ribbon tie closure.

I'll stop accepting comments Thursday at 8pm. Sharp. Then I'll either use a random number online picker thingy or ask Clark to choose a number to pick the winner.

Then I'll annouce the winner Friday morning!

Good luck!

All Aboard!

*I need to give a shout out to Katy!

A few weeks ago, just by a fluke of his schedule, Clark was off on a Tuesday. We decided to take the kids on the train into downtown. It was really fun and they were both excited. We also enjoyed getting to show Andrew where Daddy works because the first stop into downtown is the hospital. He's always asking me when we are driving if random buildings are where Clark works.

getting ready to leave the station

at the fountain in front of Union Station, Dallas Morning News, WFAA, and Belo

Andrew kept trying to get the pigeons to fly around - yuck!!!

I managed to get this handsome man to take a picture with Corinne

This week it has really struck me that summer is over - we made our last trip to NRH2O for the summer, Andrew starts back to school tomorrow, and our fall schedules are already filling up. Time is moving so fast!

We're supposed to leave a week from Saturday to head towards Gulf Shores, AL for a little beach time. Pray that Hurricane Ike does not enter the Gulf Coast - we want this trip so badly! I can't wait for my kids to experience the beach like I did most summer of my life. It's been four years since Clark and I have been, so I need a fix!

Check back soon for a possible giveaway!!!

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