Independence Day Weekend

We had been planning to go somewhere this weekend, so glad we followed through! Although we didn't go far, it was a much needed get away. And there were so many new experiences for Asher! These were actually taken a couple days before the weekend. We don't live far from Ocean City NJ and we love it there. So we packed up the kids late afternoon Thursday to give Ash the Dash his first taste of rides on the boards :)
As always, Evan was a little freaked by all the sights and sounds. We try not to make much of it as he usually is quick to realize there is fun to be had, even when things are LOUD! I have to admit there were a lot of people there. This was a photo of him warming up the the booming music. Although he looks in pain, screaming or something, he's actually dancing. This was taken after his "fun" train ride so he was happy!
Our new wheels, and boy is this thing heavy! Really I had no idea it would be so heavy. We wanted something that could go over rocks, dirt roads, and sand...but boy is it heavy.
I'm sure this is the first of many visits to the boards this year, hehe! Next time Levi will be with us :)
We loaded up and headed out to a folk festival on Saturday. I wouldn't recommend this when it's 100 degrees as it is today in the NE! But Hey, it was ONLY in the 90's on Saturday. There were conveniently placed mist shacks called the Cooling Bridges, a welcome sight to us all. As you can see, Evan is jumping for the mist floating over his head...sorry Evan, no cool mist for you...
Asher decided he likes pony rides...
...and cherry water ice....
...And yes, I did pay that much money for a Mocha Latte, mmmmmmmmmm.

We panned for gold and gems...
and Asher found a few gems of his own...
Then we descended the dark recesses of a cave to learn about stalagmites and stalactite's. A COOL thing to do when the temps are soaring.

We decided to take a hot hot hike up the side of a mountain, what were we thinking? I'll tell you what...We went on the "easy" trail. We were told it was "easy". I guess it was "easy" for a young, in shape, adult. But for middle aged, out of shape folks, such as ourselves, and young children with medical issues, it was a bit of a challenge. I wasn't prepared for the up scaling ascension across the rocky crags. And much of it done with Asher on my hip, ON MY HIP. Carrying him!

Was it worth the climb?
Yes it was!
And I have to say that the memories it all created will last these boys a lifetime. Really, it was that much fun, and challenging for them. But they made it to the top because the persevered! I'm going to use this analogy for a long time with these guys...Don't give up! And drink plenty of water on the way ;)
Watching my babies enjoy themselves freely reminded me that we are free indeed! Freedom in Christ Jesus! No more a slave to sin and the world. This is such a beautiful place, really it is! But I can only imagine what beautiful peeks are before us as we travel this life, learning to trust in Him, lean on Him, and fueling up with the water of His Holy Spirit along the way! Amen Amen!

We ran into some local fireworks and Asher enjoyed his first fireworks...ok, I know I'm a cornball with all the "firsts", but considering where he would have been, if even alive, I'm truly celebrating and thanking Jesus. We are all citizens of this wonderful country celebrating our independence together. I don't pretend to know everything, but I do know this: our lives without our Father, without our being adopted into his royal household, would be an empty one, with no real future....
We would begin our lives, only to end it in a brief moment...but an eternal decision to except our Father's invitation into His family gives to us a future that never ends.

The picture above is our young warrior, covering his ears during the fireworks. He's come a long way. He was deathly afraid a couple years back, now he's growing up. The picture below is our Haitian prince...He preferred to "rest" during all the confusion and loud banging. I think we may all learn from this kid......as for me today, my body is still aching from carring that kid up the mountain!