Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy Holidays!

We celebrated our 10th family birthay on January 11th. It's hard to believe it has been 10 years since we were blessed with these two beautiful, amazing kids. God knew what he was doing when he brought all of us together. We are far from perfect but we fit together perfectly and are all better people for having each other!

They are both doing awesome in 5th grade. Half the year is behind us. We have one more semester of elementary school... wow! The time has flown by and they are both growing into such wonderful people. They are as different as night and day but in terms of character, they are the same... both kind hearted, caring, honest, respectful kiddos.

We have had big changes these last few months. We are no longer working with Mercer. We started a new company, Higgins Marketing Group. It brought lots of changes, including buckling down on our budget, but also having much more time with the kids. They were able to start biking to school everyday, which they love. We've been able to volunteer for all the field trips and take off on all their school breaks. We were even able to go on a last minute camping trip before Christmas, in addition to going back home to visit all the family. We are enjoying our new routine!

Here are a few of pictures of our holiday time adventures!

The photo diary is below:

Family Birthday


Christmas Card Pics
Santa Visit


Falling Water & Florida Caverns Camping
Christmas Season   Virginia/West Virginia Trip



Family Birthday (back to top)

We're 10... double digits! We had a low key birthday this year. We went out to eat at the Outback and they brought us a beautiful, big combo dessert dish (for FREE) to celebrate. It was awesome! After that, we came home, played a game and watched a movie... AND ate another dessert we made! It was a great day.





Santa Visit (back to top)

We took our annual visit to see Santa again. Here are the pictures from our photo shoot! Not sure if this will be our last year... they are getting a little heavy for Santa!





















Christmas Season (back to top)

We enjoyed our quiet Christmas. We saw the light display up at Crane's Roost park, made sugar cookies and just enjoyed hanging around our house with the Christmas decorations. We went to Christmas Eve church service at our Mount Dora campus since Jim played drums there. It changed our routine a little bit. Since we didn't get out until late, we couldn't make it to our Italian restaurant. Actually the only thing open was Chilis on the way home. We stopped and had a non-traditional Christmas Eve dinner, but we were together which is all that was important. We came home and Kai/Sierra opened their gifts from each other and then it was time for bed. Santa came and we had a wonderful Christmas Day!

Fireworks and lighting of Crane's Roost Park


Mr. Merlin hanging by the fireplace.


Christmas Cookie decorators.


We had an abundance of sprinkles.



Sleeping Christmas Kitty.


Love my kitty.


Christmas Eve present time!


What is it going to be?


Yeah - I love it!


We are all set for Santa and the reindeer.


Santa came! Xbox One and some games.


We love it!


Grumpy cat.


Paper, paper everywhere.



What? I got my keyboard!



Thanks for the new tool bags MeMaw and PawPaw!


Mind snapper!


Annual Christmas present hunt.


What? Is this for us? What? A TV to go with our XBox.


Christmas morning music.


Check out my flying air hog.


This is the life! We upgraded the playroom so they have a hangout place with a TV and XBox.


Using their new tools to make a box fort.


Kai using his tools to saw a stick.


I think Dad likes the Xbox as much as the kids.


Thanks for the Disney stock Dick.


Thanks for the Duke Energy stock Dick.


Dick and Kai.



Dick and Sierra.


Dick and Putter


We love our new room.


"If we saw together, it will break it faster."



"Check our my box fort.. I'm camping in mom and dad's room"




Christmas Card Pics (back to top)

We had nice outfits for Seth and Kristina's wedding this year which we didn't get to wear (we missed the flight to get back to VA). So we decided to dress up and head to the park for a Christmas card photo shoot. The pants were already high waters on Kai and everything in general was getting too small. We at least have documentation of them once in the outfit. It was a fun outing and we got lots of great pics (mostly of them goofy off... but those made the best pics).

Our final product!






















Falling Waters State Park & Florida Caverns Camping Trip (back to top)

With our life change, we decided to hit the road the day Kai/Sierra got out of school. We decorated the RV for Christmas and ventured North. We visited Falling Waters State Park and Florida Caverns State Park. They were both up in the panhandle of Florida, west of Tallahassee. It was quite hilly up there and felt like we were in another state. We had drizzly weather but it was cool and dry for good parts of the day so we got some good hikes/bike rides. It was a fun trip.


Christmas RV Style.


Merry RV Christmas.


We finally made it... thought it would be 4.5 hours and turned into being 6.


Forrest needed her coat too... chilly.


Cool looking curly cues on the palm.


Stoplight tree... ha ha


Hiking time!


Smile pretty girl.


Everyone is smiling except Forrest.


Tongue action.



Hiking up the "mountain."


Neat looking mushrooms growing on a log.



The water fall which was barely a drizzle. It is the tallest waterfall in Florida (because it falls in a big sink hole).


There it is! This is where Falling Waters State Park gets it's name (apparantely it is heavier in the summer months).




Our old girl. She was worn out after this one big hike...slept most of the rest of the trip. She does pretty good for being 112 in people years.


Pinecone baseball.



We liked the camping spots here. They were very woodsie and hilly.


Chillin' outside in "mountains" of Florida.





Nice day to be sitting outside reading.


Higgins Marketing Group December office.



Sierra is always on the move. She enjoyed the hills to practice her bike tricks.


"I found some bunny hair."



Close-up of the bunny fur we found on a hike.


"Check out my cool trick."



A little bit of color on our gray days.


All cozy in the RV, reading and relaxing.



It actually looked a little like the woods up North here... not all the scrub brush like you usually see in Florida.


"It's corn hole time."



"Practice throw."


"Biking in the leaves is fun."





"Wipe out."



Out for a walk.


The campground had some Christmas decorations.



Bonfire time.


"What's up?"



"Spooky stories turned funny."


"Cheese, Mama."



Cutie pie.


"Daddy's story is getting freaky."



Checkers time.


Hanging by the aqua colored lake.



Biking in the swamp.



"Check us out!"



Sierra always up to pose for a picture.


Falling Waters State Park



Florida Caverns State Park.


Waiting on our cavern tour.



A Florida cave. It was really warm and humid in there.


"I'm overdressed... its warm in here."



"It's warmer in here than outside."


Cool formations.



Good kiddos... stop to smile for Mom.


It was pretty dry this time of year.



There was one light room which looked cool.


They had lighting which looked "Christmasy."



You could walk through most areas but had to duck in a couple.


Really weird looking fungus things... popped like a balloon and a cloud of dust would come out.



Dreary hike.


Tunnel Cave... had to duck to get through this one.



Lucky it was the dry season so we could go through.


Kai and Sierra could make it through without ducking much.



Sierra almost could reach the ceiling in the entrance.





Swamp reflection.


"Check me out... this root is as big as me."



Love taking pictures of all the "growth" on things in Florida.... different "microworld."




Virginia / West Virgina Trip (back to top)

We traveled back to Virginia and West Virginia to visit our family after Christmas. It was a great visit.

Dad being silly.


Forrest ready for a spin.


That is one way to get the fire going.


Aunt Bunny and the puppy.


Here comes Kai and Sierra.


Speed demon.



Aunt Kit warming up.


Hunter waiting for his turn.





Uncle Jeffrey annual pickup of Aunt Bunny.



Mom made it in one.


Forrest, Kai and Sierra.



We're ready to roll.


Dad ready for his turn.



Forrest driving Sierra around.


"I love the farm."



"Here we come again."


"Vroom, vroom"




Love these two... so darn cute.



Looking for treasures under the leaves.


Go, go Hunter.



PawPaw even jumped in on the fun.


"Watch out.... here we come."



Aunt Bunny came for the fun.


Here he comes again.



PawPaw and Hunter.


See ya!



Uncle Jeffrey zooming through the woods.


Crazy girl.



Hunter making Mom and Aunt Bunny look like little people.


The cousins.



Higgins' crew.


Ward crew.



Family :).


PawPaw and the grandkids.



PawPaw, Uncle Jeffrey and Mom.


Scarlett... cutie.



Aunt Nancy and Stacy.


She's flying.



"You'd better get out of here."


Ronnie and Scarlett... happy baby.


"Say cheese."



Ryan, Aunt Allison, Even and Uncle Mike.


Evan and Ryan.



Seth and Brad.





Carly loved Aunt Allison's dog.


Ronnie and Aunt Allison.



Aunt Allison, Aunt Nancy and Seth.


The pretty aunts.



Higgins' clan.


Higgins' clan after someone cracked a joke.



The Deem's


The family minus mom.



Courtesy of Kai the photographer.


Tickle time... picture by Sierra.



Checking Grandma Nancy's yard for gold.





Lots of deer!


Dad's childhood home.


Kai and Sierra visiting with the resident horse.


The Clintonville house from the back. Dad thought it looked a lot smaller now that he's bigger.




Had to stop and get a picture of the Mail Pouch barn.






We got a light dusting of snow.


Pizza night with Uncle Pat and Aunt Sherry.



New Years Eve wiped everyone out!


We had to wake dad up for midnight.



Silly girl.


Uncle Jeffrey and Sierra.



It's midnight.


Aunt Kit and Uncle Jeffrey.





Time for some noise.



Cousin time!


Happy Holidays!



Picture time in front of the tree.





Miscellaneous (back to top)

In addition to all the fun described above, we had lots of other miscellaneous adventures (see below).


December photo shoot.


Beautiful day to be outside.

Got this picture of a weird pod growth on a palm.


Big palm frond.









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