Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dreams do come true

Last week my big girl made a BIG decision!
She verbally committed to attend and to play soccer at Presbyterian College in the fall of 2016!
This has been a year long process that involved many emails,texts, college visits, soccer ID camps, tournaments, and a wide range of emotions!
When Julia set out to conquer this college process she decided to put academics first and wanted a strong academic school that had her intended major of International Business/Relations with a minor in Asian Studies, Mandarin and Spanish.
Then she wanted to play soccer at said school.
PC could not be a more perfect fit for her!
They have the only Confucius Institute in the USA.
She will be able to study abroad in China.
She/We LOVED the soccer coach and the program.
We visited and spent the day while she attended classes and watched practice.
We also got to meet the head of the Asian Studies department and had tea with her!
We all left there feeling great!
Then we we just had to pray they made her an offer!
Right before spring break the coach contacted her and made her an offer!
She accepted his offer last week with a verbal commitment.
She will officially sign after Feb 1st 2016 of her senior year per NCAA rules.
We are so proud of her!
We are so excited for her!
Julia works exceptionally hard at everything she does.
It has been her dream for many years to play Division 1 soccer in college.
As a mother, to watch my child's dream come true is music to my soul!
So amazed at the way God orchestrated the entire thing.
We are so thankful for His provision!

We surprised her with a little celebration. 
New team colors and mascot and some sparkling grape juice to toast our favorite Blue Hose!

Congratulations Julia!
We love you!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday Lulu!

Our little Lulu turned 5 April 19th!
Our baby is growing up!
We adore this little spitfire who keeps us on our toes!
So blessed to go through this life as her mother and to celebrate the day she entered this world!
Happy 5th Birthday Louisa Margaret!

 We stopped by my parents on the way home from the airport and had a little cake with them.

Our tradition of Birthday Pancakes continues

On to the gifts!

Her new Frozen nightgown. All Princess!!!

And every 5 year old girl must have a Palace Pets Salon!

Off to the movies we went to see Paddington

 Home for dinner of her choice...chicken nuggets, fries and Caesar salad
And finally time for cake!

She smiled ALL DAY!!!!!
At school we brought donuts for the class and her teacher makes crowns and goodie bags
A Fabulous 5th Birthday!!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Five years of Forever

April 14th we celebrated 5 years!
Forever Family #5!
Chinese food, cookies and a little gift.
We love you Xin!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Europe-part 2

Wednesday was a busy day.
We visited the hilltop town of Motovon further inland. This area is known for its olives and oil.
We had some fabulous samples of olive oil!
Note to self: buy GOOD olive oil!

 We bought a gorgeous painting of this!

Then we headed back to the coast to visit Ravinj.
Another gorgeous seaside town.

Yes we climbed this bell tower. Gorgeous views. 
A little "hairy" getting to the top as the steps are like ladder rungs... hundreds of years old.
Lulu, my little crooked footed 4 year old had no fear!
I, on the other hand, had a death grip on her on the way down!
Definitely need a glass of the famous wine after that! 

 See the bell tower in the background?

Thursday we headed to Italy and the city of Trieste.
This was the largest city we went to on the trip.

Lulu spotted the "American-go-round" and HAD to ride in Cinderella's "car"!

 BEST part of the tip for her! Ahhh...simple pleasures!
Pizza time!

On the way back to Croatia we stopped in Izola Slovenia.
This was a hidden gem of a town. So clean and peaceful and BEAUTIFUL!

Nobody wanted to leave.
We found sea glass by the pound.
We enjoyed the warmer temps.
Played on the playground 
And just soaked up the day

Friday was our last day in Croatia before we headed back toward Germany.
We decided to spend the entire day at yet another fabulous coastal town.
This time we were on the eastern coast of the peninsula in a small town called Rabec.
These pictures just won't do it justice
 Just to the left is the little restaurant we sat at for hours while the kids enjoyed the rocky beach.

 We started to load into the cars when our friend checked out this path.
Little did we know it went on for miles along the coast with more spectacular views at each turn.

Sadly, Saturday arrived and we had to begin our journey homeward.
We had such a wonderful time with our dear friends.
The teens had a room to themselves where they hung out.
The Littles had one too and played house, restaurant, office, school and did various crafts... laughter and chatter filling the air.
The parents sat at the cute little bright blue table, had wine and talked late into the night.
We saw many interesting sites, took in God's unbelievable works of creation that took our breath away at times, experienced new cultures and made friends from across the world.
We are so glad we decided to celebrate "50" BIG!
Memories made with family and friends are a priceless gift!

These are pictures of the 300 year old house we stayed in and the views we had! There were dogs and horses and goats nearby. Rural Croatia! Perfect for a clan of 12!!! Would be awesome in the summer as it had decks, covered porches, a grill and a pool with a wonderful sunning deck

 These stone fences dot the countryside. No wood posts or wire here.

We stopped at Lake Bled, Slovenia a very popular summer destination. There are many outdoor activities to do here. We just spent a few hours taking in the scenery and having lunch enjoying the view.

 You can see why this is popular. Gorgeous with the Alps in the background!

Some of the sites on the way to Munich

 Did I mention it was cold??

 See the entrance to the tunnel on the right? These things go for miles under the mountains!! It is a bit freaky if you get claustrophobic!
 Castle on the hill

 Yes, this is our airport hotel! Can you even believe there is an airport nearby??

 These two were inseparable! They giggled and played and held hands! Just so precious!!!
The view out our window.
We said goodbye to our friends and shed some tears.
We were all so sad to leave them and this beautiful area of the world.
Thank you Rhodes family for embarking on this adventure with us!
We have memories, laughs and a few "Grizwald" moments we will treasure forever!
I am truly thankful for this opportunity to celebrate life's big milestones!