Family of Fans

Family of Fans

Friday, July 22, 2011

Independence Day

More trivia...the 4th of July is my favorite
holiday that is not "Christ" centered, meaning
most-favorite besides Christmas and Easter.

I LOVE everything about the 4th of July. I love the weather, the parades, the food, the fireworks. I LOVE my freedom. I know what the cost of that freedom is, and I appreciate the sacrifices made for those freedoms. God Bless the USA!


Silly faced cousins BBQ


Modeling in Progress...

I found these pictures irresistible...and I had to share. Check out these bathing beauties workin' it out for the camera:

How do they come up with this stuff?! WHO's their MOTHER!? Oh...uh...I have no explanation. But, I'll keep 'em! :)

What are we doing here?
Just using the Redneck water-slide, what else?

June Bride

"They say when you marry in June
You're a bride all your life..."

Little tidbit of trivia, I used to do musical theater. That quote above is from the last show I was in, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I was privileged enough to play Milly. Such fun memories.

That aside, as soon as we got home from Texas, it was time to get busy helping my mom with a wedding cake! My cousin, Nicole, got married the end of the month. She was a stunning bride. Though, she is always beautiful.

Here's the final product:

Congrats Nicole!! *hugs*

Marquessa has decided she likes to take pictures. I've showed her how to work the camera, and at the reception our little photographer asked for "silly faces". Well, can't get sillier than this...

The 2011 Invasion of Texas

The Binns Family Reunion began in
New Braunfels, Texas on June 20th, 2011.

Paul's family is scattered from Utah, to Colorado, to Houston, Texas. And though we see most of them off and on throughout the years, it is quite a feat to get everyone in the same place at the same time, and for the same purpose. The last gathering was 3 years ago, when we lost our sweet niece Hannah to a rare form of brain cancer.

Glad to report that this was a happy reunion! And New Braunfels, TX is a place none of us had been before. Aside from the heat...I LOVED the area.

First item of business upon arrival...COOL OFF!
We have a crazy awesome family, and we had a fabulous time in the pool.

Day Two - was The Schlitterbahn. Heard of it? We hadn't either before booking this trip, but it is the world's largest water park. It was SO worth every dollar spent and every minute there. (And for obvious reasons, uh WATER, I didn't take too many pictures. And what I have doesn't do this place justice!)

Binns cousins! (Missing 3 of the younger ones...)

The "big cousins"

Lazy River!

My Pirate Princess and her ship! go back....

Day Three was San Antonio and The Alamo.
I have to admit I turn into a history junkie when we travel. I definitely didn't appreciate it as a kid; I just couldn't wrap my head around history from books and stories. So, before we left Utah, I went to the library and checked out books about The Alamo, because I couldn't remember what happened there. Guess what I learned? Davy Crockett was a real person...not just some guy Disney made up songs about. I tell you, I'm genius (rolls eyes)...

I could have spent the whole day here.
The Alamo
The Alamo Museum (Gorgeous!)

The Clan...missing two sisters-in-law

On to Day Four....Sea World San Antonio - Okay, I have been to Sea World San Diego a handful of times, and I admit, this was the day I was least excited for. Ya know the whole been-there-done-that thing? Wow. I was so wrong. It was completely different. The only thing that was remotely the same was the Shamu show! LOVED IT. My favorite part, the water-skiing show. Seriously cool. And I thought they only did that in movies!

Two of my most favorite people on the planet!

Day Five was set aside to catch our breath! We all went to see the new movie CARS 2, and swam in the pool. It was nice to even get a nap in after so many busy hours!

And the hardest day of all was day six. Hard for lost of reasons...but, two phrases will explain all: "family pictures" and "good-bye".

Not to worry, I have a release form from the photographer to post this!
Snazzy lookin' bunch o' peeps, eh?

Courtney saying good-bye to cousin Becca...and sobbing!
Good-bye really is the saddest word.

When I asked Courtney why she was crying she said: "We won't get to see our new cousins forever!" I agree Courtney, the next time we see everyone cannot come fast enough....

Mother's Day

I teach an adult class called Gospel Doctrine every other week at our church; and for the past 5 years of my motherhood, I've been busy with preparing and teaching every Mother's Day. This was the first year, having children, that I wasn't scheduled to teach one class or another...and I was SO looking forward to just enjoying it.

Word to the wise, never get comfortable! Just as I was reveling in my "enjoying", I was asked to talk to our whole congregation Mother's Day morning.

It is a very sensitive topic, Motherhood. Especially when you are hoping to adopt again...when you are aching for another child that you can't have, and have no control over the arrival of that child you so desperately want.

So, I spent the week crying. Thinking about how I wanted a large family, thinking about how great it would be to watch the girls fuss over a little brother...or sister (or both!). I thought about how lucky I would be to have more children. I prayed for more children!

I also spent the week learning. Motherhood isn't just raising children, but it is definitely that. Motherhood is a divine potential from God to all of His daughters! It means He has given us each unique talents and gifts so that we can all qualify for eternal increase in posterity (children!), wisdom and influence. Isn't that beautiful?!

And, despite how hard it is sometimes to accept God's timing...I am grateful that He recognized that I would need to receive my "maternity" through the glorious gift of adoption. I didn't just need my kids in my life...I needed the relationship of their birthmothers.

Being a mom is amazing, but being an adoptive mom? I just don't have words...

Rain...and Costumes

"Life is not waiting for the storms to pass,
but learning to dance in the rain."

That is one of my favorite quotes, though I'm unsure who I'm quoting. Suffice it to say, it's good but it's not mine.

I love rain storms. I love the smell of the rain, and the refreshing effect it has. I enjoy watching the lightning crackle against the sky, and I don't even mind the thunder. (I shudder over the worms that come out though, ew.)

For some reason, my kids are nervous about it. So, I taught them a little about dancing in the rain...

I never took dance classes though, and I prefer letting the
professionals handle the "official" training.

The girls' recital was a riot!

Marquessa is a born performer, and a natural dancer...she is just SO good. Courtney surprised us by actually doing most of the dance (at rehearsal she mainly watched the other girls), and taking a moment to pick her costume out of her behind.

I'm so proud of my girls!

Gettin' our "Redneck" on...

Okay, I have a confession...I am a hillbilly country girl at heart.
*Sigh*...I said it.
Ya'all heard it right, I'm part hick.

When my brother, Brandon was in town this past March, we got all the brethren (the 5 of my brother's, my dad and of course Paul), as well as my sister-in-law Holly, and we went to the-middle-of-nowheresville to have our annual "Shoot Out". Brandon even made us matching shirts, 'cuz we're all redneck like that.

Shoot, it was fun. (Pun intended, of course!)

That wasn't the only fun to be had though...Brandon being in town also meant cousins for my kids! We had a sugar cookie night at Grandma Kim's. There were sprinkles in just about every corner of grandma's kitchen for weeks!!

Silly girls...they love each other so much!

Marquessa turns 5!

I can't believe Marquessa is 5, nor can I wrap my head around the fact that she has graduated from pre-school and will begin kindergarten in just a few short weeks.

She was obsessing over pirates, and requested a pirate themed party to celebrate her birthday with her friends. She's still crazy about one in particular...Captain Jack Sparrow. And if you ask her why she likes this rouge character, you'll get a smile, a blush, a giggle and a response..."'Cuz he's hot!" I am in so much trouble...

Paul's brother Jim and his family happened to be in town on Marquessa's birthday, so we planned birthday party #2. We had such a great time at Bouncin' Off The Walls with the "big cousins".

Dinner with the family after exhausting ourselves, not a bad idea either!

We were excited to meet Anne and her adorable little family for another celebration of this pirate princess's birthday. Marquessa wanted to have pizza and go bowling, and that's exactly what we did!

There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful to Anne for allowing me to be Marquessa's mom. And I am incredibly lucky that I can also call Anne one of my dearest friends.