Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First Day!

Today we launched our PreK 4 girl, our 2nd grader, our 4th grader, and our 5th grader. We pray God's richest blessings on them and students everywhere this year.

The babies and I didn't know quite what to make of a quiet house!

Birthday Celebration

Our dear Grandma Dena celebrated her 82nd birthday this year and we traveled to Michigan to celebrate in the lovely new home of Aunt Amber and Uncle Banish. They were awesome hosts to all of us and it was so great to have that family all together, although we missed the rest of the Indiana Ward family. We enjoyed the birthday girl's request of lasagna and carrot cake (no, herbal cheese was NOT on the menu) and later checked out the very cool park a short walk away.  We could even wave to the hospital where three generations of the family were born (Jonathan, his mom, and his grandma) on our walk to the park. It feels really special to have roots back in the Park family's hometown of Niles, and we look forward to many more celebrations there

 We love you Grandma Dena and are thankful for the blessing you are all to all of us! Go Blue!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Michigan Vacation

Last winter when it was cold and dark, Amalia got the idea for a boating vacation. It took one quick phone call to her Uncle Josh to get the Wissing family on board (Grandma Sandy and Grandpa were an easy sell) and the timing was right to plan for a week in Northern Michigan following the annual Tucker reunion. My sister found a fantastic house to rent right on the Cheboygan River and we explored that cute little town and spent our sunny days boating on the beautifully clear Mullet Lake.  We took a day trip to Mackinaw Island and ate great beachside food (and fudge!) after long walks and bike rides. It was a fantastic vacation filled with memories. 
This girl has been waiting her entire life to go to the beach!  Her personality totally changed after sun and sand.

This guy kept sneaking the amazing pies that our cousin Gerry made for us. Regardless of what time of day it was.  

Playing Headbands

The guys on the ferry ride to Mackinaw.

Amalia and Everly watching the island wake up. It was my favorite time there.

Early morning Mackinaw

Delaney at the Pink Pony Restaurant

Carrigan biked extra with us to check out Arched Rock. She was pretty proud of her new T-shirt too.

Grandma and Grandpa relaxing at lunch

The Coast Guard Ship in Cheboygan

We checked out every single playground in Cheboygan.

Amalia's happy place is on a tube

New T-shirts all around

Still eating pie

My boys

This guy was a total grump on boating day until Uncle Josh FINALLY let him drive the boat. It's a good thing he's cute.

She even loved the life jacket.

My Brinnly--she worried about her daddy on the tube.

Beach sisters

No kids!

Another brave girl

Is there tubing in the Olympics?

She caught the very first fish and had her dad grill it for lunch the next day!

Our prize at the Tucker Reunion--a gift that keeps on giving. :)

Yes, I come from a big family and twins do run in it. My grandpa, Opal Fay, has the pink caption.

A few of Opal Fay's great-granddaughters, including Delaney Fay

A jam-packed but happy minivan. 

Scenes from a movie birthday

 Carrigan opted for an outing this year instead of a party, so we went out to see The BFG since we had just finished the read-aloud. Such a great adaption to film! The next morning was her actual birthday and she was thrilled to open new art supplies, a, new board game, a Kindle, and a Tennessee charm for her bracelet. (She wanted to always remember learning to swim at Fall Creek Falls on vacation with Grandma Deni). Brinnly and Delaney even dressed up as waitresses to serve the birthday breakfast of mango waffles, bacon, and iced tea. Carrigan and her Grandma Sandy headed out later for lunch at Olive Garden and picked up a new swimsuit for our water girl. Such a great day to celebrate our sweetheart!


Seven years ago this seven pound, two ounce burst of sunshine entered our world. What a joy she has been!  She was really an easy baby and turned into a sweet although opinionated toddler. These days she's a big, grown-up second grader who brings a smile to us each day.
Carrigan starts her days early but if she happens to sleep in at all, Everly wakes her up with a loud "CARR-GAN! CARR-GAN!"  Those two love each other so much and have quite a few personality quirks in common. Carrigan was sad when school ended because she really liked her teacher and sweet classmates but adapted quickly to a low-key schedule of bike-riding, swimming, read, and crafting around here. Her big accomplishment this summer was passing the swim test at the pool and she's working hard on learning to dive. She also ran her first 5K with me this year and hiked the 3 Dune Challenge with her daddy. She usually joins me in morning YouTube workouts too. She's a silly one and can do a dead-on impression of Pittsburgh Dad or her own grandpa answering his "house phone". :)
She still loves fruit and cucumbers, tuna, and the color green. She's our most introverted but always lets her unique middle child personality shine though. She's the peanut butter in our sandwich and we are blessed beyond measure that God blessed us with her. Happy birthday Carrigan Grace Ward. We love you to pieces.