God's splendor

one of the happiest places on earth! many most of our vacation days are spent on the boat.  we sight see, we fish and we watch our real life g.i. joe do his thing. on some days bennett and his intricate hobbies make the rest of us feel like his maintenance staff. (but what a super cool kid!)

on this particular day, bennett's staff was feeling rather spent.  bennett's bloody speared fish made the water a little too scary for swimmers.  so they "watched his bubbles." 

just when boredom was settling in for the girls, a tiny creature crawled aboard. a fascinating baby octopus! 


this pint sized creation was all we needed to be entertained for hours. between caring for bennett's every scuba need, we watched with fascination as this octopus used eight feet to walk and ink and suction to our hands and even bite! his tint beak bit anna katherine! how awesome that God's gives us all natural instinct.


i was waiting to hear "can we keep him, can we keep him, MOM CAN WE KEEP HIM?" like every year before! maybe it was maturity or the fact that anna katherine's bite was now bleeding, but at the end of the day, they happily returned him to the water.
  i wouldn't trade an experience like for a day at disney world. seeing God's intricate design in even the tiniest of creatures.



sweet

there's nothing happier than a house full of friends and family! this set of pictures from the summer reminds us of how much we miss our sweet friends. they recently moved several hours away. these two are raising six of the sweetest most well behaved children. 







halloween

mary claire is a hoot. she keeps us laughing. one of the reasons i started this blog was because of her comical personality. i wanted to remember everything. 

on halloween, she announced that she wasn't afraid of clowns. "but, do you know what i am afraid of? serial killers, schizophrenia, and lyme disease." pretty odd combo!
she read a book about schizophrenia and she's convinced it is the next plague. no she isn't hearing voices or showing signs. it doesn't run in our family. she read a book and is convinced ;) 

her daddy told her that schizophrenia and lyme disease is transmitted through cats. especially when you let them sleep in your bed ;) an incentive to stop sneaking cats in her bedroom. (i think she'll risk it)    

this was part of our halloween dinner table conversation. wholesome right?  

we had a fun little halloween celebration. gone are the days of door to door trick or treating and adorable costumes. (sigh) but we couldn't let the day pass without a small celebration. it was just the three of us carving pumpkins, listening to spooky music, eating traditional halloween soup and candy apples. 

and tormenting the animals with costumes. we missed the kitten as a dinosaur. 







a simple carving set is never enough for jeff :) 




we missed the big kids. we did hear that they got together with friends and watched "the great pumpkin charlie brown." i totally think they watched another scary movie, but whatever. tell me what i want to hear. anna katherine carved her own pumpkin. then i heard all about bennett and his buddies dressing up and trick or treating his apartment complex. "mom, bennett was funnier than ever." which is totally unimaginable, because he is the funniest person we know! 

clemson girl

a little update on our college girl. first let me say,  "we miss this girl something awful!" we are waiting for it to get easier.

anna katherine has been home one time. fall break. they closed the dorms so it is mandatory ;) before leaving her daddy told  her, "i know that we are extremely  sad that you're leaving,  but we want you to enjoy this once in a life time college experience." 
"don't miss a thing," he said. 
and she is not. 
she attends every football game and when the team plays away, they host football gatherings. i avoid the word party ;) 
she loves her roommates. praise God, praise God!  she is making friends and thinking about joining a sorority ~ next year.  

her grades are good.  i am so thankful when i hear them say, "wilson hall prepared me for college." 
 anna katherine's church attendance is what we are most proud of. she found a church she loves! so far she has not missed a Sunday! i know because we have life360 ~ best stalking location ap out there ;)
mary claire still misses her something awful. they FaceTime constantly! she even spent the night with anna katherine and her roommates over paren't weekend.
a few more pictures from here and there. 

she met dabo. i mean, check that off of life's bucket list! everyone wants a personal picture with this fine man!  he is the nicest, nicest person!
we love sending her little goodies in the mail and she loves surprises! these are only the best skittles ever - halloween mix!

parent's weekend flew by. first on the agenda... jeff fixed what needed to be fixed. (he really is one of the best people ever created) he knew to pack tools in advance.  

 before we left, we loaded up at the grocery store. anna katherine is cooking a lot of fresh food (another praise) and doing a good job budgeting her weekly allowance. she has a meal plan, but rarely uses it. maybe that's why the freshmen 20 for her has been the freshman -10. 
we are thrilled that she is enjoying college! we are happy that she is embracing her independence and making responsible choices. we are also thankful that if she is partying and going buck wild... she is smart enough to not let her parents find out ;) i am kidding of course... remember we have life360 :) 

we cannot wait to see this sweet girl again!
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