8 Years Ago...

...We said "I Do."

And if I had to do it all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat!
Travis, you are the best husband a girl could ever ask for and I'm incredibly grateful that the Lord chose you to be my husband.  There is no one who makes my heart skip a beat like you, no one I'd rather spend my life with, no one I'd rather build a family with and no one I'd rather grow old with.  You are a great husband, not because of your easy going personality or your joyful heart or just because I "got lucky" and met a really nice guy.  You are the man of my dreams because you love Jesus more than anyone or anything else, and your devotion to Him is the greatest gift you could ever give me.  As the years stack up and our kiddos wear us out, you grow more handsome and more desirable to me.  I see you pursue Christ everyday in the midst of the chaos and stress, and on the good days and the hard ones too.  Nothing looks more attractive on you than that!  As your love for Him increases, so does your love for me and in return, my love for you.  You spur me on in my relationship with Jesus just by your own quiet and daily example. Watching you soak up truth and lay aside time every morning pushes me to be in His Word, no matter what my day holds. 

Our marriage isn't perfect.  We've had days we regret, words we wish we could take back, and walls between us that took too long to come down.  We're often too busy and we don't schedule enough dates nights and yes, life is hard and we've made mistakes...But in the ups and downs and twists and turns, there is no one else I'd choose to walk hand in hand with than you.  
 I love you, I respect you and I admire you.
I'm thankful that I can rest at night knowing you are committed to me as I am to you.

If the Lord took one of us tomorrow, I can honestly say that these 8 years together have held more life and more joy than some people experience in a lifetime!  Would I change some things?  Sure. 
But would I change you?  NO WAY! 

I love you Travy.
I'm hoping we have many years together to celebrate and cherish with all the emotion and excitement and love that we felt 8 years ago... 

 Happy Anniversary to the one I love!
You are a gift in everyway...
Welcome home baby, I missed you!


9 (1/2) Months!

Carter, I am barely getting this posted before your next monthly update but better late than never bud :) The stress these things cause me is probably silly.  I lose sleep at night thinking I'm going to forget some detail that you'll ask me later on in your life!  I suppose that's inevitable, but here are some details that I have remembered about your 9th month and want you to know...
Look how big you are!!  The most common comment we received this month about you was that you look so much like a little boy now, and not so much like a baby.  Bittersweet for your Mom and Dad :)
At the doctor this month we learned that you...
-Weigh 20.4 lbs, which puts you in the 40th percentile for weight and although I can't remember right now how many inches long you are, I do know that you are in the 95th percentile for height! So that means you are following in your Daddy's footsteps still, long and lean.
-You are a healthy little guy and right on track for your age!  I'm grateful that with 9 mo under our belt, you've hardly been to the doctor beyond these well baby checks.  Your next visit will be when you turn one, then at 18 mo and 2 years!  That's hard for me to believe, but this month ended the well baby monthly appts. 
-You are wearing a size 4 diaper and size 9-12 mo clothes.
-You are still napping twice a day and sleeping from about 8pm-6:30 or 7:00 in the morning.  Your sleeping has been a little bit sporadic this month, but we're chalking it up to lots of traveling and your teeth...
Although this month has not been marked by sickness, it has been a hard month for you because of those stubborn little teeth that are taking their sweet time to come in!  Your doctor found 4 teeth that are just under the surface and most likely the reason you have been fussy and having a hard time sleeping.  While we've been at Grammy and Grampy's 2 of them have now broken through (your bottom front teeth) but you have been a trooper considering how much your little mouth has been hurting.  This is a common look from your 9th month...Sad eyes and that paci in your mouth for comfort.  We've gone through lots of tylenol and motrin over these last few weeks Carty!
You began this month happily sitting on the floor playing with your toys, but you are ending this month on your tummy and sometimes up on your knees!  You are SOOOO close to crawling, but not quite there yet.  Mostly, you're just incredibly frustrated and we're hoping also motivated to pick this latest skill up.  You HATE it when we walk away from you or leave the room and we are now finding you on your tummy "swimming" like crazy as if you are trying to chase us down.  It makes you so mad, but I'm thinking eventually it's going to be the thing that finally clicks for you.  You want so badly to be on the go with your sister and we want that for you too! 
Toys are becoming lots more fun and interactive for you and this little car your sister got for her birthday is a new favorite!  Fortunately she's ok with you being in it because she loves to push you around for a ride.  Sometimes that goes well and sometimes it must be a little scary buddy!  I promise we are keeping our eye on your safety :)
You are still a happy little guy and it doesn't take much for you to break into a big grin!  We like to say that you are either grinning and happy or screaming and mad.  There's not much middle ground with you Carter, it's one extreme or the other.
One of our favorite memories with you this month is your sudden love of the water!  It has been incredibly HOT this summer and I think that's helped you go from hating the water to loving it.  We've taken you to the splash pad, put you in blow up pools and even went to some big pools too!
You swam at the Wright's for the first time, which is also where Ava did too.  You love to splash in the water and kick your legs and Daddy got a kick out of how fearless you have become, even tolerating water in your face or on your head.
We love that you are very easy going and flexible Carter.  You are up for just about any adventure and you are just like Ava in that you never want to miss anything that's happening!  You love to look around and take your surroundings in.  We keep putting you in the car and trying new things and so far, you seem to love it.
This month you are more interested in eating table food and we keep putting new things in front of you to try.  Having some teeth will help broaden your palatte, but so far you are getting more and more adventurous by the day!  You love to be at the table for meal time with everyone and you and Ava are starting to cause some chaos together :) She taught you to bang on your tray, which makes the two of you giggle hysterically while Daddy and I go back and forth about whether we should stop it or let you have fun!  You are still drinking about 5 bottles a day, but with more and more table food in your diet you are becoming less interested in formula.  We are working on transitioning you from a bottle to a cup much sooner that we did with Ava, so far you like it for water but we'll see what you think about milk soon :)
You and Ava have truly become little buddies with each month.  You are crazy about her and she feels the same about you.  It just melts our hearts to hear her open your door in the morning and say, "Good Morning Carty!  How are you?  Sleep good?"  You light up and she can't wait to get you on the floor so she can play with you.
However, she also dances a fine line between loving you and torturing you.  She doesn't quite understand what hurts you and what is within the definition of "gentle."  It won't be long before you are able to get back at her and when you can, we won't stop you :) But, we've been memorizing Eph. 4:32 this month with Ava and soon we'll be teaching it to you too.  I have a feeling it's going to be a mantra for years to come...
Carty, we just love you like crazy.  You bring so much joy to your Daddy and I and to everyone else who meets you.  We love having a little boy in our family and we are enjoying all of the new things you are constantly doing and learning.  This is kind of that point in your little life when things start happening fast and in the blink of an eye we will have two active kiddos in our home!  We just love to see your personality develop and grow and are so thankful for the privilege of parenting you. 

Happy 9 months Carter! 


Secure Daughters and Confident Sons, A Book Review

I want to tell you about a book I've recently read, it's called "Confident Daughters and Secure Sons; How Parents Guide Their Children Into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity" by Glenn T. Stanton.  I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  I prefer to read books like this one, instead of fiction and I think it's worth your time if you have kids in your life or you work with kids or you just want to understand how little people grow up into the big people they become. 

The issue of gender is all over the news these days with everyone from politicians to Church leaders arguing or defending various points of view.  I think it would be nieve to assume that this issue is going away any time soon.  What once was a non-disptued issue is now one of the most polarizing and devisive topics in our culture.  What I appreciate the most about this book that Mr. Stanton has written is his thorough research and the vast amount of detail included in every chapter.  It's a very comprehensive look at what makes girls and boys unique and distinct, as well as what each gender needs to fulfill their God-given natures.  He offers advice for parents and concludes that among a list of important things girls need is to feel that they are securely loved and cared for, while boys need to know that they have what it takes to get the job done because they posses a healthy self-confidence, instilled from Mom and Dad.  His greatest point is that while it's true that parents can either help or hamper their childrens' abilities to thrive as adults, no one influences their lives more than their own view of God.  He alone fills and heals our broken places and regardless of the circumstances within our own families, He can provide everything we need. 

I think this is a book well worth your time.  It's so full of information, it's almost too much to take in, however I think it will be a book that I pull off the shelf frequently when I encounter various issuse or concerns.  It's a resource you will appreciate having.  I wrote a few weeks ago about gender differences I've noticed in my kids and some thoughts regarding them.  I got an anonymous question regarding it and it's taken me way too long to answer it.  I wouldn't normally answer something like that in a post, but since this person is anonymous, I don't have an email address to reply to, and my answer was way too long to leave in a comment I'm posting it here.  I will be the first to say that this is my OPINION only. I'm not claiming to be right or to think I even know the answer, but I'm offering some personal thoughts to throw out there for discussion.  I'm no expert by any means, just a Mom, but I think the topic of gender is going to be one that only intensifies as our culture tries to constantly redefine it.  So here is the question thrown my way and my thoughts that follow.  Love to know what you think too...

I'm just wondering what your opinion is when a child seems to identify more with the opposite gender naturally...

It's difficult to answer this question for several reasons, one being that I am in no way qualified to speak on this topic with any kind of professional training or experience and two, without any specifics or details about the situation it's tough to offer advice. However I'm happy to offer a general opinion that I hope is helpful.

-The first thing I would say is, don't panic. I don't think there is one particular mold that all kids fit into. Most kids are not "by the book" in every area of their lives and I think the same can be said for gender preferences. If you're just talking about things they like to play with or who they gravitate towards and they are still relatively young (under 12), then I wouldn't worry too much. That sounds pretty normal to me.
-Be careful about what you say, but be quick to encourage feminine things for your daughter and masculine things for your son, WHEN you see them choose those things. Sometimes I think we can make a bigger deal out of things than necessary, so I would just praise them for those things and realize that maybe the Lord gave them interests that aren't common for their gender, but that doesn't make them wrong.  If you don't see a lot of those things yet, don't point it out or make a big deal about it.  Just keep your eyes open and praise them no matter what.  Kids respond to praise more than criticism. 
-I think it's probably helpful to not do a lot of labeling, ie- "only girls do that" or "boys can't play with that." Sometimes forced labels create results that never would have happened without them. Exploring a big world is something that kids are going to need guidance in, especially this world with all its' gender confusion.  I would be careful to guide and direct and encourage, rather than criticize, condemn and correct. I think it's healthy for kids to have an supportive environment to be who they want to be with the safety of knowing that Mom and Dad won't panic if they don't follow "tradtional" roles at a young age. They are doing their best to "figure themselves out" and the world that they are growing up in. That's a big deal and not easy.  If we freak out, so will they.  Just let them explore.  I think when kids are young, so much of their behavior is just a phase that will fade with time.  Of course this is always true for every child, but I think it's a general rule to think through.

-When kids move toward their teenage years, I think the time to guide becomes more and more important. Age appropriate and same gender friendships are important. I think we need to do what we can to help them nurture and grow those relationships in healthy ways.  Different gender friendships are great too, but I think it's not healthy to have only one and not the other.  Don't feed thoughts or ideas that they "can't" get along with or feel comfortable with ONLY boys or ONLY girls. I think as parents, we have to be aware of what is going on and who they're friends are. We can help create fun things to do, invite friends over, host parties, etc. If we panic and withdraw because we don't know what to do, we're not helping. I think we're conveying that we think something is wrong with them and we can't handle it, which then makes them think something is wrong too.  Be the rock they can go to, even when you are unsure.  Go the Lord first for guidance yourself, then help them to do the same and love them through it.
-IN MY OPINION, much of gender related issues stem from an unhealthy idea of who they are and a longing to know if they are valued for who they are. Self esteem is critical and acceptance of who God created them to be, even if it's not "normal" is largely determined by our reaction. NOT ALWAYS the case though, sometimes kids with great homes and good parents can still struggle with identity. It's not a sign of failure, just a personal weakness or vulnerability that we can help build them up in.  Don't we all long to know someone loves us just for us and accepts us?  Especially our parents? 
-My very best advice to offer is this, PRAY, PRAY and PRAY some more! Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and insight into your child. What truth do they need to hear from us or from the Lord? What will help build them up? What kinds of talents and gifts has God given them? What can we do to guide them? If we're overwhelmed and at a loss, ask God to calm your fears and help you to TRUST him with your child. Soak yourself in truth and remember that HE created them, HE loves them more than you could, HE gave them their personality, their interests and quirks, and HE thinks they are of great value.  HE died for them to prove His love and to rescue them from an eternity without Him.  He longs for us to lean on Him and TRUST Him with our kids and with our fears. He wants the best for them too, but we need to leave that up to Him and realize that the best for our child may not be what we would choose or even understand. I think we would do well to counsel our kids to go to Him too, if they are feeling confused or frustrated about who they are. Professional counseling or intervention can be a good thing too, I would just make sure that I choose someone who bases their counsel on God's Word first.  As a professional, they should be able to shed light on things you may not see or offer neutral advice that isn't based on bias or fear.

I have no idea if that's helpful to you, I hope it is but it truly is just my opinion, and a humble one at that.  If I were you, I'd seek out several trusted opinions if you are really worried.  I want you to know that I prayed for you and your child today, for whatever is going on and how you feel about it. The Lord cares about you and wants to be the one you run to with every fear, no matter how great or small. Praying that you'll be able to do that if you haven't already! Hang in there, parenthood is a worthy calling and a marathon worth running!  It's not easy and this is not an easy world to raise kids in, BUT He is an easy Savior to call on and He's given us everything we need in His Word to do the best job we can.  Our kids are worth the investment, no matter the cost, I'm sure you'd agree.

Praying you aren't discouraged in your pursuit of widsom and in light of your question, I hope I can be one more blessing along the way...


In Which I Make an Attempt

I've been meaning to hop on the old blog and update lately, but these days my intentions never quite line up with my reality.  As it turns out, parenting these 2 little people God gave me is only getting more time consuming and intense as the days fall off the calendar.  Huh, imagine that?  It's especially intense this week while my partner in parenting is living it up in Peru!  Ha ha, I say "living it up" because it seems that getting an extended break from the kids qualifies as an instant good time, but actually I know he is working his rear end off.  He flew out on Thursday morning and won't be back until next week.  He is literally busy from very early in the morning til very late at night and while my mind likes to assume he's got it easier than I do, I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
We took Daddy to the airport early in the morning to send him off.  Naturally both kids slept late and we had to wake them up to get in the car :)  Because isn't that always the way it goes when you have something to do in the morning?  There is always a certain silence that falls over us as we drive to the airport and one of us is leaving the other.  There aren't many things to say beyond, "I love you" and "I wish you didn't have to go" and "I'm really going to miss you."  Thankfully the kids don't really understand what a 12 day absence means, so it was only my eyes that pooled with tears.  I'm so glad he could go, I know the Lord is doing a mighty thing in Lima this week, but it's never easy to say goodbye.  Especially when you really like your husband :) I like his company, I like his lame jokes, I like his crazy ideas for wearing out the kids, I like his ever present smile and I even secretly like the trail of evidence he leaves around the house, reminding me that he's home...(Evidence meaning clothes on the floor, snacks in the living room, books on the nightstand, shoes as far as the eye can see, etc.).  Funny that normally I huff and puff about constantly putting it all away, but right now, I miss it. 

We've been able to skype once, but other than that I am relying on pictures and updates via their facebook page and the church website.  Today I'm especially anxious thinking about him.  He preached twice at a Church plant of our sister Church in Lima and I hate that I wasn't there to hear him and support him.  He was excited about it, but he had to preach through an interpreter, so I'm sure he had some nerves about that whole experience.  I love to hear him teach God's Word and although we are thousands of miles apart today, he was never far from my mind this morning.  For many of our early ministry years I spent every moment I could, at his side, serving along with him.  But in this season of our lives, I'm learning how to support and serve from a distance, in the midst of busy little ones and a home to run.  It's not always easy to be the one who stays back, when often my heart is longing to go, but I know that my mission field is found in the big blue eyes of a little blonde-haired boy and in the heart of a mischievious redhead, who needs the steady presence of one of us.  And right now, that one is me.  A sweet friend of mine shared something with me this year in our Bible study that I haven't been able to forget.  She grew up in a Pastor's home and one that she says was not always balanced in priorities.  Her Dad was gone constantly and the Church always came first.  She said they expected some of that, it seems to go with the territory of being a leader, however she told me that what really stung was to see her Mom willingly volunteer herself out, leaving them often alone or in the care of someone else.  While there is nothing wrong with a baby-sitter or getting a break, it struck my heart to hear my sweet friend remember the pain of that, in her 50's now.  It was a good word for me when the offers to "help" or "volunteer" or "serve" are always plenty, but the price never free.  It always costs someone when either one of us is commited and for now, I'd rather pay the price for Trav to be gone than for our kids to resent both of us being gone. 

If there is one enduring lesson that parenthood has taught me, it's that seasons come and go and just when you think you've got the hang of this one, a big change is just around the corner.  So therefore, don't sweat this one too much!  My opportunites to be by Trav's side will come around again, one day the kids will be older and we'll be able to create adventures of their own or for the 4 of us to do together.  But not yet.  For now my kiddos need me to hold the fort down while Daddy is gone and they need to see me joyfully let him go.  They don't need to hear me complain about being the parent who's "on" more than I'm "off" and they need to know that more than my own agenda or preferences, I love Jesus and I want all of us to be obedient to Him, no matter the cost.  These days aren't easy for me.  I'm glad to be at my parent's house for some extra support and help, but it's just not the same without their Daddy here too.  We're having a good time though!  The kids are busy and my parents are remembering how much work this stage is :) They are also realizing the golden reward of being a grandparent...they get to spoil my kids, love them up and then watch me deal with the bad behavior, while laughing with their hands held over their mouths, ha ha! 

I have some fun pictures to post from our time here already and one of these days I need to write Carter's 9 month update before he turns 10 months!  I'm hoping for another golden afternoon of duel napping and fewer thunderstorms at night :) Our hearts are in another part of the world this week, praying for Daddy and wondering how he's doing.  Next week at this time we'll be packing up to head home and greet him at the airport.  Seems like a long time from now, but I know it will be here before I know it so we're going to do our best to enjoy the week together!

I hope this has been a blessed Sunday for you, no matter what season you are in.
I'm praying through Philippians 1:6 while we are apart...
 "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
What you've started in us and in our family Lord, carry it on to completion!  Both this week and always. 
May I be found faithful to trust YOU with each and every season, no matter my circumstances.


Things Learned in a Heat Wave

Hmmm, so many things to post about...What to choose first????

-I don't know because I haven't watched much of the news, but is is hot all over the country or just here??  And when I say hot, do you have a 110 heat index with like an 89 degree dewpoint?? Or something like that??  All I know is that we set major records yesterday for dew point and humidity and now all I can think about is, how soon until Fall???  Although I'm glad it's summer and it's not snowing, this kind of heat is really hard to deal with when you have small children.  They LONG to be outside and I LONG to let them be outside, but the responsible parent in me screams...No.  It's too hot.  Even the pool sounds miserable right now!  Mostly because of all the work to get there and the lack of relaxing that actually goes on :)

Lesson #1- It's terribly hard to have two kids under two, when it's 100 degrees outside and Daddy's at work.  I can only take soooo many episodes of Elmo and Bob the Builder.

-I have a to-do list that is growing by the second.  Did I mention that Travis is going to Peru in 3 days?  Hmm, maybe not but he is.  He'll be out of the country for 12 days, therefore, I am out of my mind trying to pack for his out of the country experience.  Oddly enough, it will be a cool relief for him to head to South America.  Does that makes sense to you??  Doesn't anything that begins with "south" signal "hot" to you?? 

Lesson #2- When it's unbearably hot in Minnesota, in the dead of summer, head SOUTH.  Where it gets cooler???

-Remember the to-do list and the bored kids??  I'm basically spinning in circles over here, getting little to nothing done.  *Lucky* for me, Carter is teething and trying to crawl/escape his sister all at once.  This means that my smiley little guy is only a smiley little guy when I'm holding him or helping him stand.  He's currently not a fan of eating, sitting, jumping in his jumper or playing on the floor with toys.  Which leaves my two big options as standing or sleeping.  Which praise the Lord, he's at least willing to do the sleeping, especially with the help of a little motrin.  Ava on the other hand, enjoys thoroughly, anything that I've previously told her "no" about.  These things include: torturing her brother, climbing and LEAPING off the furniture, dumping each basket of toys on every clean surface in the house, opening the refrigerator to help herself to another cheese slice, rearranging my baskets of clean/folded laundry, begging to watch another show and just generally whining.  Mmmm, good times, good times...

Lesson #3- Having a "to-do" list in addition to having kids, is futile.  An excersise in contradiction really. 

So there you have it, a deeply reflective post on this oppressively hot day.  I've got lots to do, kids that have "nothing" to do and the growing sense that I'll never get anything done :) How's that for an unsolveable puzzle??  Oh, and it's hot out.  Like Amazon hot.  Did I mention that?? 

Stay cool friends, stay cool...


How Big is Ava?

Over the last few weeks, Travis and I have caught ourselves saying the same thing over and over about Ava...She's so big all of the sudden!  She's looking like the little girl that she is and she is truly putting those baby ways behind her.  I think because we have Carter to compare her to now, it seems so striking to us, but I suppose at almost 2 1/2 it's fitting for some of these things to be happening!
For example, we came home with our first bike the other night!
Some friends of ours passed their daughter's old bike on to Miss Ava and she was thrilled at the discovery when she woke up in the morning.
It was hot out and she couldn't wait to get to the park with Daddy.
Of course, not until she slowly sipped the contents of that cup.
Good to go!
Although her feet can reach the petals, she is definitely not ready to ride yet.  Poor Trav had to push her like this the whole way to the park and back :) I think we'll be storing the bike for next summer!
We've been waiting to get a haircut for Ava, only because we've been gone or so busy lately! 
Ponytails have been the name of the game lately and amazingly, she's pretty good about leaving them in.
Apparently I was channeling my inner "pageant Mom" with the size of that bow!
Good thing we were about to skype with Texie, we had a Texas sized bow to show her :)
One thing that hasn't changed as Ava has gotten older, the girl still loves to eat!!
This is a post-nap fashion show Ava put on for us. 
When she came out of her room, she was sporting her VBS wear and was pretty proud of herself in it!
And speaking of her room, this is the perch we find her on, three mornings a week.
And why is that?
That's because the garbage truck comes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to empty the trash in our underground parking and they pull up right outside Ava's window.  To say it is the thrill of her week is an understatement.  As soon as she hears the truck turn onto our street, she RUNS to her window shrieking, "Garbage truck Mama, I see Garbage truck!!!"
It's hilarious.
Yes, her room is a disaster, but what I really want you to see is the little hunter and gatherer in action :)
She is currently all about getting as many things as possible in that shopping cart and that little stroller and then somehow trying to push them from room to room 
See what I mean?  There are no less than 6 purses draped over the handle of that stroller!  ha ha
I'm afraid my "overpacking" genes are already being passed down!
Today we finally got a haircut in! 
My friend Ellie came over and she cut Ava's hair while she was here.
And Ava did great!
Of course I did bribe her with a sucker, but I think she might have done just as well without it.
Afterwards Ellie put two little french braids in her hair and it was so cute!!
I loved it!
Two beautiful girls!
Thanks Ellie!
I just couldn't get enough of her in those braids!
So serious about her puzzle :)
Daddy is running a soccer camp in the mornings this week and today he came home with popsicles, which was very exciting for a little 2 year old in our house.
SO cute.
One of her things she likes to ask for is to be tickled under her armpits.
Daddy is always happy to oblige!
So funny!!
These big girl days do not come without challenges, but it is fun to see our little Ava begin to blossom into herself.  I love to watch her and try to guess what she's going to look like in 5 years, what she'll be into, etc.  I don't want to wish these years away and get caught up in the guessing game of tomorrow though.  She is enough work today!  We love this little peanut and all the quirky things about her that make her unique.
Her name means "full of life" and I think so far, she's living up to that!


Just Add Water

We have been making the most of our summer heat wave around here! 
 We've got two little waterbugs and thankfully for them, lots of opportunites to get wet :)
They spent lots of time at my parents house last week, in this little pool that my Mom bought...
And playing with this hopscotch game we bought.
Love the face!
Life is rough when you are 2 and 9 months!
Whoever said measuring cups were only good in the kitchen obviously never played with them in the pool!
After we got home, we were invited to some friends of ours home for a poolside dinner.  This was Carter's first time in a big pool and it was the same pool that Ava went swimming in for the first time a few years ago!
She still loves it!
And so did Carter.  He hung on the steps with Daddy for quite awhile, sucking on his hands and splashing...and yet, this kid still hates his bath...sigh.
Ava decided she is a fan of fresh salsa like her parents :)
It never tastes so good as when it's poolside however.
On Friday we had a little picnic in our backyard...
Which this little peanut loved!
Side note, do you recognize her little suit?  You might because she wore it last year too.  It's a 6-12 mo suit and it still fits!  Hilarious.
We also blew up our little pool from last year to enjoy, which was a tough sell for Carter.
The water was a little too cold for his liking :)
No problem for his sister though.
She was all about the water!
Eventually Carter gave in and had a good time...
...and so did his parents.
Love this little blue-eyed blondie!
Tonight we took the kids to our favorite splash pad and it took Ava all of 10 seconds to remember it from last year.  She was a wild woman!
So chic in her hat...
...but WILD under all those ruffles!
Carter checked the whole scene out with Daddy... 
...and decided it looked fun!
The view from up here looked sweet to our Ava.  She went down this slide no less than 50 times I'm sure!
Last year I had to put her on this turtle.  This year she climbed on.
Man, she's getting so big.
Bath toys to the rescue for Carter!
He is a big fan of the zero depth pool for little guys like him!
I love that hair, it clearly has a mind of its own, even when wet.
Because she has no fear of things that might be fun...
This didn't bother her!
And neither did all of this.
Two little water bugs, who will probably sleep well tonight.
Right Carter??
I'm talking to you buddy! 
This tired Mom will sleep well tonight! 
What simple fun we are having these days. 
Yep, just add water and the Armstrongs are bound to be happy about it!