Spa night

EC early morning!

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So here we are at Christmas time! It is an incredibly blessed time at Thornwell and a little overwhelming in it's craziness. We have AMAZING sponsors and our big girls are very blessed to have so many people looking out for them. We are pretty blessed too and can't believe our lives some days.


Go Kirsten!

Kirsten is a cheerleader and does an awesome job! Here she is showing off her talents.
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Ready for Church?

Sunday mornings are usually pretty nice. It is a laid back time of eating breakfast together, laughing and getting ready for church. Here are the girls primping... this can go on for a long time if you let it. Then again, they are a bunch of beauties and it is a good time of sharing things, space and memories :)
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Berkele Divers

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Lake Murray

Saturday was a nice day to get out and spend some time on the lake. It is about 45 minutes from Clinton to the spot in Chapin on Lake Murray where we started. Super thanks to my loving sister Mona and my terrific friend April for helping us out with the boats! We had two pontoons and rode out to a nice quiet spot (the whole lake was pretty quiet since it is September and college football has started). We shut off the engines, tied the boats together and the girls jumped in! They played one of their many "family" games in and out of the water and we ate a picnic lunch.
Afterwards, we headed into Columbia to celebrate Bebe's (my mom) birthday with her at Fuddruckers! Happy Birthday Bebe! We had a very nice day and a nice time together!
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Here are some old pics I found... what a gorgeous bunch!
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Berkele's Labor Day weekend

(dblclick on the pic to see it better)
This was our last day at the beach! One of our girls had not
been before and it seemed like a fun treat for all of us. We
played in the sand and water, cleaned up and shopped...
then we had dinner at one of our favorite spots
from last year's cottage vacation!
It was a great day :)
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Evening routine is a nice time of night...
everyone is (should be) winding down and chilling
out in their rooms...
now that school is back in,
it is a pretty tired time with most everyone
looking forward to sleeping
- well, the FT's are anyway :)
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More vacation...

A day at the pool... we had a major laid back day and are ready to pack up and head home tomorrow. It has been so incredible and we are all thinking about getting geared up for school on the 18th - YIKES!! This
week the girls are going to have to start
thinking about that early 6am alarm...

So anyway, yesterday we went for one last visit to Universal... who knew the Simpsons ride would be so cool??? It re was. Last night we wentally to Outback as our "special dinner treat"! It was yummy and the girls loved it. Then we went to Sea World After Dark. It was a lot of fun and Shamu Rocks rocked :)


This is another continuation of vacation so read the previous three posts first...

Thursday was a day at the beach. We wanted to see the gulf and so we headed west. We visited Pass a Grille first and swam in some of the warmest water ever found in an ocean (it would seem). Then, we met some family at Fort de Soto's North Beach. It was beautiful and after a fried chicken picnic dinner provided by loving folks, we saw the sun set on the gulf. It was incredible.

This is a continuation of vacation so read below!

Okay... so on Wednesday we went to Sea World! Who knew dolphins could be soooooo endearing??? They were incredible! Trying to pet them was the challenge of the day! The little (and a couple of big girls too) ones got to see Elmo and friends and
were pretty mesmerized by the show.

Later, we stopped some poor fellow to take a picture of the whole gang. I guess since I couldn't stand at that point, I had reached my limit.

We got to see Shamu, the sharks, the penguins, and the guys took some of the bravest to ride the Kraken. Crazy!

How many amusement parks can you visit in one vacation???

Five so far... and two beaches :) God provided for us richly and as lavish as it seems (well, He is God you know) He provided in ways that helped us to appreciate and recognize the church and it's love for this ministry!

We arrived on Saturday and the girls got to the pool as quickly as they could. It is a great pool and the hot tub has been awesome once all the kids are in bed!

Sunday we visited Oakland Presbyterian Church and felt the love from their congregation! We heard Pastor Bob talk about natural consequences (couldn't have been more appropriate) and then got to know their Sunday School a little. We were treated to lunch at Cracker Barrel with the middle school youth and their leaders and were blessed to share the time together!

Then... we got spent the afternoon at Downtown Disney and spent a little money on souvenirs!

Monday, we hit Animal Kingdom and had our socks knocked off as the folks from Oakland PC met us to sign us into Disney... with a bag full of sunglasses, water bottles and fan sprayers... as well as some extra $'s for parking and snacks for a few days!!!! Praise God for such generosity! Not to mention, we had enough passes given to us to go another day (we have it planned for our last day here). These folks blessed us so much and we pray they know how cool that was! We know.

Fireworks at the end of the day were awesome too... 13 hrs of Disney :)

Tuesday, we made it to Universal and had a blast meeting Shrek, Donkey and ET!

Life is good @ Berkele

Our cottage tshirts this year says it all "Life is good @ Berkele" (back of shirt). Here we are in front of our rental house in Orlando where we are staying for 10 days and have so far visited 5 amusement parks and two beaches... really what we are saying is God is good! and we know it!