Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2020

Our 3rd Love Like you Mean It Cruise!!!  (And our first time bringing friends!!)  We arrived in Ft. Laderdale and were picked up at the airport by Kirk and Deena in their rental convertible.  Off to a fun start!!!

After going out to a Cuban restaurant for dinner and then talking until late at night, I felt like my vacation could end right there and I would have been happy… but it hadn’t even begun yet!

The next day we boarded the ship… (after we almost boarded the wrong ship thanks to the uber driver, but that’s a long story!)  As usual, we headed straight for the food where I had to eat a burger in honor of Malachi.

Our room and deck were fabulous!  Hanging out with my amazing friends and my sweetheart was such a treat!  After a relaxing lunch together, Daniel and I headed out to explore the ship…

Jordan Feliz in concert!

The next day we were suppose to stop at their private island, but since we got a late start leaving and the winds were so great, we just spent a day at sea.  Ping pong, running the track, running into old friends, (Hi, Nick and Margie!!), trying the zip line, and napping made the day wonderful!

Arrival in Puerto Rico!  (I’m so glad someone made us take this picture; our whole gang!)

Lovely hair nets for the horseback ride.  It was such a beautiful ride!  Blue skies, fun horse guides, gorgeous scenery.  After some deliberation, we opted for the one hour ride, which was such a blessing.  No sooner did we get back then it started to downpour like only a rainforest can!  Had we chosen th two hour ride, we would have been drenched and super uncomfortable as our van driver gave us the long ride back, sharing all details about the city he proudly lived in.

For our Puerto Rican dinner we had to try the Mofongo.  It was so delicious!  And despite the fact that it was 2 days early, Daniel told the waiters it was my birthday… had to get the free dessert!

Day 4:  St. Thomas  We spent the day on the beach, almost lost our shoes, spent much time in the gorgeous clear water, and watched planes soar over the beach…

Mac Powell!!!  Front row seats.  Boom.

Valentine’s Day was a day at sea.  Deena did my hair and make up and Daniel treated us all to the sushi restaurant for dinner.  What a special night!

Above:  Each couple sent in a wedding picture and they made them into stickers that we got to put on a giant collage…so creative!

Below:  The marriage pictures also flashed on the big screen.  Daniel was able to capture ours.  He also captured our anniversary on the top row of the scrolling screen.  Each night, as always, there were gifts waiting for us in our room.  The custom “Love like you mean it” connect 4 was my favorite!

One again, our time at sea did not disappoint.  We laughed together, prayed together, cried together, and yes… we even fought together!  I think the exhaustion of getting ready to go took a toll on us, and we ironically got into one of those crazy fights that you don’t soon forget.  (embarrassing, but true!)  Thankfully, it was just one bad night and God is so good to restore, renew, refresh, and all the other “r’s” that I can’t think if right now, but which we celebrated each day on the cruise.

Quarantine Pizza Night

Fridays are good.  The Friday before starting Spring Break takes Fridays to a whole new level of good.  Add to that homemade pizzas, homemade cookies, and a movie, and it’s really a Friday that’s hard to beat… (Even when we’re all still in quarantine with the rest of the world!)

I must say, if I had to choose who to spend quarantine with, I really would choose these guys.  They worked hard this week, and really haven’t complained, though I know they are missing their friends and their dad!!

After we finished school, but before we went on to “fun,” I had each of the kids write out their goals for spring break and collected them.  They had to have a minimum of three.  We keep talking about how, despite being home for so long, we really don’t want to waste our Spring Break in front of a screen.  I wrote down my goals too, and it feels great!  The kids started some of their goals today which included some exercise and some organizing… I plan to start my goals tomorrow! 🙂

Montana Getaway!

We’ve landed in Montana!!

Aunt Carol is such a sweet hostess!  Butternut squash soup and cheese toast while the snow fell outside.  (Not to mention a quiet house; a definite luxury for us!)

I can’t pick my favorite… Montana skies, Montana birds, or Montana trees!!!

Wild turkeys… geese… bald eagles…

It was short but sweet; 2 days and 2 nights to visit Aunt Carol and Uncle Gary in Montana while scoping out houses and experiencing a taste of a Montana winter!  Ironically, some of the homes we liked online were definitely a “no” in person, whereas some of the “no’s” online turned out to be a huge hit in person!  It confirmed for us how important it is to see homes in person!

This all took place mid-December… so much life has taken place since!  Christmas, Chinese New Year, a marriage cruise, my birthday, getting our house ready to sell, putting our house on the market, taking our house off the market, and of course… corona virus.  Yes, a lot of life has happened!  Glad to know God has it all in His hands!!

Bird Watching

Bald Eagle

Sharp shin Hawk

Pelicans

About a month ago, my friend asked me if I followed a mutual friend of ours on Instagram.  When I said “No,” she proceeded to pull up her account and I was in awe… when did our friend become a bird watcher/ amazing photographer???  I went home that day and texted her…. “I want to learn your ways!”  We set a date, and met early in the morning in search of bald eagles. It was a beautiful, chilly winter morning with just our cups of coffee to warm our hands.  We drove through the canyon catching up on life as if no time had passed.  (I love that kind of friend!!!)  At every turn, the view caught my breath as fog hovered over the water.  Then we pulled up to “the spot.”

A few other bird watchers had their cameras ready.  “We haven’t seen them yet,” we were told.  Inside I doubted they would show, but within 2 minutes there they were~  I couldn’t believe it.  There they were!  I soon discovered my camera had nothing on that of my friend or the others there.  I took a few pictures, then contented myself with the binoculars as I watched TWO bald eagles fly back and forth to their nest.  It was spectacular!!!

Once we had our fill of the eagles, it was on to Bonelli Park.  Sadly, there were no owls in their usual spots, but the high from the bald eagles lingered on, and I was soon caught up on all the happenings of my sweet friend.  We did get to see a hawk up close as well as some pelicans.   Mostly, we enjoyed the fellowship and the brisk walk.  I cannot wait to do it again!!!

Her Specialties…

Chocolate cupcakes?

Smoothies?  Grilled Cheese?

Lemon Cookies?

Which do you prefer?  If you can overlook the mess, it is really nice to have a cook/ baker around!  Sierra is amazing at both grilled cheese and fried eggs… mmmm…. The best part is, she offers to make them for siblings, who love to say yes, and you know what that means for me!  The only problem now?  Without our chickens, we are going broke buying eggs!!!

Crazy Cheese Straws for Crazy Times!

When she asked if she could make “crazy cheese straws,” I thought… yes!  Crazy anything seems to fit these days…

Yes, even for us homeschoolers who are used to… well… schooling at home, this is a crazy and challenging time.  If you ask me how we’re doing, I will tell you it depends on the minute!  One minute, I watch the kids creatively play together and think, “We are awesome.  We got this!” and the next minute they are all on each other’s nerves and I am feeling like a failure for suggesting they all go watch a movie so I can find some rest. And so it goes…

To be honest, it really hasn’t been too bad for us.  We are healthy and have our needs met and have had some great times playing games, baking, and continuing with school.  There have been challenges, and we certainly miss Daniel who has been gone and will be for quite some time… yet it is well with my soul!

Personally, my wish has been to not waste this gift of time that has been given me.  When I say not waste, I am not referring to being productive.  What I mean is, I don’t want to miss what God is doing and speaking to me.  We have had ups and downs with emotions as we looked at making some big life changes, but quickly realized now would not be the time.  What comfort in knowing His timing is perfect, and this is not a surprise to him.  The peace He gives truly passes all understanding.

I have been journaling a lot of prayers and especially things He is showing me at this time, which is why I haven’t had much time to come on here for my “fun journaling.”  However, I truly hope to take at least some this time to go back and do a few posts from January and February.  We shall see!

(By the way, the crazy cheese straws were super simple, but super tasty and made a great side to our Caesar salad lunch.  We ate them while watching our friend win on “Price is Right.” )

Saint Patrick’s Day (and maintaining “normal”)

So much had happened in a week…. from corona virus going from a bad situation to a global pandemic to us putting our house on the market, having 26 showings and getting 3 offers to having boxes packed and a moving van secured to everything falling through and pulling our house off the market… sigh… but ultimately to God speaking to our hearts and letting us know He holds us, His timing is perfect, and it is ok.

In the midst of it all, we had Saint Patrick’s Day: not a huge holiday in our home, but one that we always celebrate with a few traditions.  (Thankfully, we had our shamrock shakes with friends weeks earlier!)  I really thought that it was important to maintain our tradition as much as possible to establish a sense of normalcy for these poor kids who were also experiencing a lot of emotional ups and downs.

This year, St. Patrick’s Day happened to fall on a Tuesday; the first Tuesday our homeschool co-op would not be able to meet.  Since we found out just a few days before and the kids were super disappointed, I promised them we would go to Starbuck’s for school to at least get out of the house.  Turned out Starbucks was closed, too, so we went with option # 3:  I brought Starbucks home for the kids and we did our normal school at the dining room table.  While sipping through their green straws, we decided that a new Saint Patrick’s Day tradition would be born: green straw day, or Starbucks for St. Patrick’s Day!  (Hopefully we will be able to drink it there next year!!)

We finished the day with crockpot corned beef and cabbage, thankful for family and traditions!

Pi Day

I’d love to say the math teacher/ homeschooling mom in me is really on top of things and therefore I creatively planned an outing to the park followed by a trip to the “Pie Hole” in honor of “Pi Day,” (3.14)  The truth is, we got in the car and headed out of the house while strangers piled into our house during an open house, and we had nowhere to go… finally decided on the park…. then headed to the mall when we realized it was “P Day” and the Pie Hole was having a special!  (God is goooooood!) Matcha green tea pie is amazing!  Spontaneous family adventures are pretty col, too.  That’s all.

I’m Back(yard)!

Gosh, it’s been a while… we’ve been to the Caribbean, to the snow, celebrated our anniversary and my birthday… and quiet I have been!  I blame my new phone.  I really don’t know how to download pictures yet, and I have stopped bringing my camera everywhere.

I also blame the busy-ness of it all!  You may notice our backyard looks a little different.  The chickens are gone, and the chicken yard cleaned up.  Old trees are gone, and new ones in their place.  We’ve got a new lawn… new mulch…one less chicken box….the fence fixed… and lots of junk thrown out.

It feels amazing!  The yard has been cleaned up, and the house is getting a lot of touch-ups, as well.  Spring may not be here on the calendar, but t has officially hit the Yeh house.  Hopefully this means I will be back to blogging more.  In the meantime, hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I am enjoying our “new” backyard!!