We hold our very first Because of Isaac auction and raise over $1,000!
I am busy teaching the boys to read. It is going really well and we are having a blast!
Some crazy weather rolls into the island.
We celebrate Sidge's fifth birthday party at base movie theatre.
A mini golf course comes to the island. Oh how fun it is to do things together as a family.
Abigail falls and becomes the fifth glue/staples/stitches casualty in our family.
My friend Michelle's Aunt Sharon comes to the island for a marriage course she and her husband are teaching. Love catching up with old friends.
Our Joni comes for a visit again. Yipeee!
While she is here, Hannah turns six months old and we celebrate Super Hero style.
My mom comes to visit for the first time. Oh how wonderful to show her the military life I have lived.
I am honored as a recipient of "Lajes Spouse of the Month" as our life on the island winds down.
We attend the birthday party of our Portuguese friends -- and everyone gets batman faces.
The movers arrive. Let the games begin!
As always, there are certain people that feel so very hard to leave. Josh and Rebekah and their boys prick my heart. It was so wonderful to have them around the corner from us this last year.
A medical emergency from a naval ship nearby comes through the base -- and JB is the doc in charge.
Here's what a pack-out looks like -- no king sized bed for JB and me means two full sized beds on the floor. That'll do.
I have a MOPs Easter Egg Hunt at the house.
JB and I take an amazing vacation together to the island of Sao Miguel while JB's parents watch the kiddos. How wonderful to escape for a few days.
Our little miracle turns six -- and we celebrate in great superhero style with a movie at the base theatre.
This will be our last month in the Azores so we spend it enjoying the last bits of this beautiful place. JB and I spend a day on a jeep field trip with the boys. It was a blast!
We have a fellow airman take some family pictures of us near the water we love so much.
We decide to move our beloved pirate ship down the street to our friends: Josh & Rebekah's house. It feels so good to see the ship sail another day.
We take a day to visit a local farm with a friend that Mom made. While this is such a happy time for us, it is also bitter sweet as we are saying good bye to people, like Mianna, that have been our family during our years in the Azores.
They have a small going away party for JB. During these last few days of May, he will don his uniform for the very last time. Much more emotional about this than I thought I would be.
We take an afternoon to walk around our favorite corner. We eat ice cream at our neighborhood cafe, have spaghetti at Buzios, say good bye to the Storey family and our neighbors across the street. This place had so many wonderful and difficult memories for me. It's hard to imagine it is time to say good bye.
The hardest good bye is Hita. So long sweet friend. I will love you forever.
It's time! We can't believe it but it really is time to move back to America. As June begins, we say farewell to the island and to military life.
First stop? We spend a few days with our friends from Turkey: Ryan, Sarah, William and new little Graham while we wait to pick our van up from the port. After that, we begin the long drive to Tennessee.
One of the first things I NEED to do upon arriving is order some Indian food. Yum!
We get our UB shipment (small shipment) and the dozens of boxes we mailed ourselves. We also get the items we had put in storage before we had left for Turkey. There are a few injuries, like this helmet pictured above.
But our big shipment of stuff that we had been told would arrive shortly after we did, is nowhere to be found. A friend of a friend shows up with air mattresses, this gate, and a folding table and chairs which literally SAVES MY LIFE! It will end up being the very end of July before we see all of our belongings.
Back in America and living in TN (not too far from our home for eight years in Kentucky), means getting to catch up with old friends like the Wilsons (pictured above), my friend Shea, and Josh and Sarah and their family.
JB doesn't have to report to work for almost a month, so we spend some time reconnecting as an American familiy. First up? An amazing trip to the zoo!
We also visit a local science center where Isaac works on his camera-taking abilities.
We'd be lying if we said the choices and selection and options in America aren't downright amazing!
As July gets underway, we STILL do not have our shipment of "stuff" from the Azores and grow mighty used to life on the floor.
But ... JB's brother (Matt) and his wife (Danielle) come to visit us! How wonderful to catch up with family.
We also get to spend some time with my cousin Josh and his wife Sarah and there three kids. When we last lived across the street from them, we had zero children between us. Today, we have seven (and one on the way!)
Abigail turns 3 and we opt to have a small little party at Chik-fil-A.
I start to experience life away from a military base, as we venture out to new activities -- like a homeschool lego club that we just love!
Abigail attends her first princess party, a girl party, a party without her brothers! I wasn't sure how she'd do, but she had a blast at her cousin MaryBeth's house.
Our garden begins to produce sustenance.
As our stuff FINALLY arrive at the end of the month, we celebrate with wonderful summer days outside in an American suburb!
My Mom's sister, Janet, comes in for a few day visit. So great to see her and let her meet all my kiddos.
One of JB's childhood friends, now a lawyer in the Air Force, stops in to see us with his wonderful wife and two kiddos. They'll make another brief stop in October as well.
The August weather leaves plenty of pool days and fun backyard times. The list of things we love about being back in America is so long!
One of the downsides? Our shipment has a LOT of mold. At least we have our stuff -- but about 20% is damaged by mold.
I take the boys to their first, ever, real water park in Nashville. It takes some convincing to get them to go down a water slide, but once they do, they are hooked forever.
I get to catch up with my friend Shea at her home in Kentucky. She is now the mother of two little boys.
Our friend Tara, and her husband Kelvin, come to visit us in Tennessee. So great to catch up with old friends!
I fly Isaac out to Vermont so he can have his annual summer time there with his birth grandparents: Roy and Joni.
Isaac has a blast ...
... but MAN are we excited to get him home.
... And even more excited that Joni returns with him for a few days of fun!
We head out to Eastern Tennessee to do some "farm finding" and my dear childhood friend, Michelle, and her three kiddos, joins us for a reunion. Michelle and I have been dear friends since we were five years old and went to every year of school together K-12.
Hannah turns one!
We make a trip to Montgomery, Alabama where we spend time with our great friends from Turkey -- Ryan and Sarah and their sons William and Graham. We also get to spend a half day with my friend Claire as well.
Our second Because of Isaac auction brings in over $2,000!
My great friend from the Azores, Claire, rolls into town to visit with her three kiddos.
And we also get a quick visit with the Ellis' (from Turkey).
Oh America how we missed you! To get to a genuine fall pumpkin patch? Truly not something I can adequately put into words.
Halloween ended up being a VERY cold night here. So costumes were covered with coats, and when Hannah was so crabby we couldn't even get her in a picture, we opted to simply include her dress in the photo.
Stebbs and company stop into our neck of the woods for a visit -- and a trip to the local Jack Daniel's Brewery.
It's our first snow in the U.S.A. (Not much to write home about but still, actually, a bit of snow!)
So incredibly excited that my parents drive up for Thanksgiving. It is the first time I have seen my Dad since Hannah was born in September of the year before.
After years of dreaming and waiting, we buy a farm! 100 amazing acres in Eastern Tennessee are the green grass where we will grow our family. We are beyond thrilled and looking forward to relocating permanently in the summer of 2015.
Joni comes in for a surprise visit for the kiddos!
Joni ends up leaving from our house to go to Vermont as word comes in that her father-in-law is about to say hello to his heavenly home and a wife he hasn't seen in over a decade. We feel so blessed that Isaac was able to make a second visit out to Vermont to see Roy's father, Pa, as Pa goes home to be with the Lord in December -- well into his 90's!
Daddy takes Abigail to a much anticipated first: The Nutcracker!
JB's older sister, Elizabeth, and her family which includes her husband Grant and adorable twin boys, come in for a Christmas visit.
Following Grant and Elizabeth's departure, my brother and his family (wife AD and daughters: Charleigh and Baylee) come in for a week to hang with us in Tennessee.
During their visit, the girls have their first slumber party -- including 2nd cousin MaryBeth in the festivities.