field tripping with Nat

While it's somewhere we've been several dozen times...

...I still enjoyed a day with my baby girl today!

The weather was lovely and her sweet little friends I was in charge of were obedient.

We spent the morning hours outside exploring all the museum has to offer.  This little group could hustle!  There is a train car, the dinosaur trail, wildlife, wind and water and of course the treehouse natural play area.

Following lunch when the temperatures soared, we focused on everything inside where it was nice and cool.

Yeah, I've been more times than I care to count.  But they're only little for a short amount of time.
So bring on the field trips...I want to soak it all in!


Holden 2016 (day 5)


And as it always does, the day of heading home arrived.

We should have been washing linens and packing.

But we opted to begin our Sabbath Day restoring our souls one last time before heading back to the pace of normal life.

And of course I tried to capture it all.

Do our kids argue?


Do they fight?

Of course.

Do they whine, irritate each other and want to go in five different directions all at the same time?

Yes, are there siblings that don't, and I need clones to keep up.

But there is something about our time together, just our "little family" as they call it, unplugged from TV, social media (beyond me popping up a few photos for Mama to see what her grand babies are up to) and video games that creates a "magic bubble" of sibling goodwill.

During these times (and our yearly Mother's/Father's Day camping trips) our kids seem to disagree a little less, find ways to entertain each other, and fall back into that way of giggling that they enjoyed as wee ones.

We love it so much that it makes us wonder if our family could expand to include another...

Finally it was time to head back to the house to get ready to go.  The spicy one tried to convince us that her feet were stuck and we'd just have to leave her there.  But one of our family mottos is that we never leave a man behind...

Until next Spring Break Holden...

Holden 2016 (day 4)


Day four started much the same as each of the other days.

Sleeping until we felt rested, leisurely breakfast, heading to the beach for a little football,

splashing in the waves, and taking a walk.

Detecting any trends?

One thing we did learn however is that if you are walking toward the pier ~ about two miles in distance down the beach ~ and it becomes obscured in view, you *may* get wet.  One of those experiences we'll laugh about later...

We didn't make it all the way to the pier, but after getting soaked in the chilling mist when we finally figured out why the pier had somewhat disappeared, we decided to head back to the house for warm showers.  Of course then the sun came out.

But by that point we decided to go ahead and stay clean and opted for some geocaching on the island.

We enjoyed checking out some areas of Holden Beach away from the water and enjoyed the near perfect weather.

Some lead us to areas we didn't know existed on the island, while others were cleverly hidden with clues like, "Stop what you're doing and look to the sea."

All the exercise from our soggy pier walk to geocaching caused us to work up quite the appetites, so we headed to our favorite little coastal town of Calabash for some Calabash shrimp and hushpuppies.

And what night at Holden would be complete without a stop at Beaches N Cream?

Coconut cream, banana pudding and mint chip for the win!

Holden 2016 (day 3)


Not every day at the coast is necessarily all sunshine, and as it had been a while since we've experienced a rainy day at the beach, I suppose we were due.

After a leisurely breakfast and morning, we headed to explore The Museum of Coastal Carolina.

While not as huge as our science museum downtown, it focused expressly on the ecosystems and history of our coastal region and we found it a good way to pass a dreary weather morning.

Who knew owls were an important part of the coastal ecosystem?

Thankfully the weather cleared and while no-one was interested in suiting up to play in the water, everyone was game for a long walk down the beach.

Along the way we found great fun in jumping off the sand cliffs created by the tide.  The boys challenged me to show my best move and I think I surprised them...heck, I even surprised myself with my inner ninja ability.

We actually made it all the way to the northern tip of the island...

..., pretty amazing considering some sets of legs in the family are pretty short.

And then before dinner we squeezed in a bit of fishing.

Because fresh crab (all we caught on this expedition) could serve as a tasty appetizer.

Or we threw him back and just enjoyed the rhythm of casting and reeling in while talking and laughing with family...


highlights of a weekend with Grandma

Grandma came to town and while she was here all sorts of fun things happened!

Mommy and Daddy went to see if they could find the wizard.  

Sadly there was no yellow brick road to guide them, but they enjoyed a nice dinner out and an evening in the theatre.  

The next day provided one of Darcy and Kylie's favorite occasions...birthday shopping with Grandma. 

She sends cash for their special day and then on her next visit she takes them to spend it, with a sweet treat at the end. The location of shopping has changed, from Toys R Us to Barnes and Noble, but the tradition continues!

And there the little one has learned. When you ask Mommy to read Captain Underpants to you.
And she says no.
You ask Grandma.

Because she pretty much never says no...


March snow days

When a three hour snow delay (in March) follows a day with a three hour early release time for snow (in March!) and Mommy has had all the balloon volleyball in the living room she can take...


spring snow showers

When March brings you snow showers...

our personal baker

It's pretty nice having a tweenager who loves to bake in the house.
Cornbread to go with tonight's pot of chili...Done


getting in character

Yes, I think the glasses must help him read in character.
No, I don't think he could be any more adorable.


Triplet Day 2018

a trio of 11 year olds
Reflecting back through the years...

three tens

fine at nine

eight was just great!

lucky sevens

sweetness at six

joyful to be alive at five

more at age four

lucky to celebrate her

Her long awaited birthday finally arrived.

The one that pretty much catapulted her from being in "the tween years" to a full on teenager.
(at least to her it now seems official).

This morning she asked me to get her four leaf clover shirt and when I questioned her on her choice, she informed me that she had decided two years ago to wear St. Patrick's Day shirts on her birthday when I no longer was able to find her a birthday shirt.

Indeed a quick look back confirmed her new trend.

Guess I'll have to make sure to continue finding St. Pat's shirts for her...

And on the topic of tradition.  Long live Triplet Day at the M house!

Following dinner at Cowfish (one of her favorite places on the planet to eat) we came home to open her gifts.

This year was a new Gamin fitness tracker with some fun bands, a Psalms journaling book, and a gift card to Barnes and Noble.  Because last year her class voted her in as "most likely to read every book in the library" and just in case she makes that goal before she graduates from 5th grade, she wanted to be able to buy a few new novels...

After gifts we watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and THEN had her cake.

As is popular in our house, she went with the Pioneer Woman's chocolate cake with Nutella frosting and homemade whipped cream for frosting.  I couldn't have made it for a sweeter girl.


You truly are a parent's dream.  You are reliable, even keeled, and trustworthy.  Very little seems to rock your world unless we tell you after hours of reading that it is time for you to put down a book and go interact with humans for a little while.  ;) Your loyalty and huge heart for your friends is one of your most endearing qualities.  I treasure the gift of you and can't express enough how lucky I feel to be the one you call Mommy.
I love you always!