First we gained a new baby cousin from Uncle Robeson and Aunt Natalie. It'll probably be a while before we get to meet face to face, but we are excited to share parenthood with our generation in our family now!
Then it was Rhianwen's birthday. Her "golden" birthday no less since she turned 4 on the 4th of October! She loves this bracelet that Uncle Robeson and Aunt Natalie gave her.
Alden was such a sweet brother giving her so many gifts without asking for any in return. He did have much fun with some of the bubble wrap though.
She had many friends over who got to make leaf-print t-shirts, go on a bear hunt (their very most favorite game), treasure hunt, dancing fun (each child got to be the teacher that we copied), and lip-gloss swap.
Finally! The white buffalo cake!!!
I have to say, this birthday with a white buffalo cake, princess cups and table-cloth, fall decorations, and requested games like bear hunts, made me appreciate just how special and unique Rhianwen is. She is so eclectic in almost every way...personality and tastes included. It'll be interesting to see how her sense of self develops over the years, but right now I am enjoying the comfortable way that she just IS. Yes, she has influences (I hate most Disney princesses...), but it doesn't stop her from being who she is. I wish I could say I wasn't influenced by what others think of me or want me to be. There is so much freedom in being 4 and loved! I pray she will be settled in her freedom in Christ and in His loving design for her, His shining holy maiden. Is. 60:1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you."
After her birthday, it was off to the mountains for a fall vacation with Nanny Kim, Grandpa, Uncle Skipper, Uncle Christopher, and Kristen. We had much fun exploring the campground's free activities including the famous zip line.
All by herself per daddy's approval.
Alden's loving it. Look at daddy's flare.
And a movie of it. You can hear Nanny Kim in the background going into shock about Alden's eye color. They've both gotten my eyes-strange shades of greens, blues, and golds.
Alden's become quite the dribbling soccer pro. You can see shadows of the paparazzi and scouts gathered around him as he shows his skill off. He was very upset tonight that he had to go to bed while daddy left to play soccer. When asked what he wanted, Alden said tearfully, "I want to play soccer too!"
Thank you, Uncle Skipper, for a wonderful family picture! This one will likely get framed.
The intrepid family on top of Black Balsam. Although you can't see it here, the fall color there was breathtaking.
Kristen and Alden begging Uncle Christopher to stop that texting and save that marshmallow.
Just look at Aldi-man's face.
After the mountains, it was back home where we visited a farm. This picture just speaks to our area of the country where suburbanization meets farmland nearly everywhere now without a buffer zone.
Trying her hand at "milking".
The tunnel under the hay (I think it's a fun perspective with Alden looking through to Rhi's little face).
Loving the heavy machinery. We also got to go on a hayride (Alden's favorite) and through a corn maze. Good thing my camera batteries died, or you would have been subjected to more photos of that!
Then it was off to Grandaddy and Grandmama's to celebrate Grandaddy's b-day. It was a sweet time, and he blew out ALL of his candles in one breath! Chalk it up to being a pastor!
Rhianwen to Alden about if God is here with us: "Do you know how to obey without Him?"
Rhianwen: "Ok, then, He's here!"
Take that, atheists ;0) From the mouth of babes...
Alden to mommy: "Is there food in heaven?"
Mommy: "The Bible says that there's a banquet, so I think so."
Alden: "I like God."
Back home in our woods riding a "dragon".
I was telling Wally today, I just love being home. I just can't handle much busyness like other people can. Although I know I should be able to roll with whatever life throws at me, I am thankful for the freedom that comes with predictability and the peace of being home.