2015- Year in Review, Part One

Happy 2016! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying the freshness of a new year. Since it seems as though I might never catch up on the blog, I have decided to do a roundup of a few of my favorite pictures from 2015 and highlight some of our fun adventures, and then start fresh in 2016 with more detailed posts as they happen. Due to the number of adventures we have (never a bad thing) and the large volume of pictures I take, narrowing it down was tough, which is why there will be a part one and a part two. Thanks for keeping up with us through this blog and taking the time to read it. We appreciate you all!
In the spring, we took a school bus monster truck tour of a citrus farm at Showcase of Citrus. James was so thrilled! After the tour, we picked our own oranges and lemons. It was a pretty cool day out.
Having annual passes to Disney World meant lots of fun times at the parks. 
Chris is getting really good at the family selfie and this one is probably my favorite from this year.
It looks like he’s not the King of England. Total bummer. 
Enjoying the last year of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios.
We were also happy to enjoy visits from some awesome out-of-town friends!
James with Adam T., a longtime friend of Chris’s and master of eyebrow trickery.
James was super excited to see his former babysitter from Utah, Ms. Hilary, and tried to get me to leave
 so they could enjoy some “private time”. Nice try, dude. She’s married.
James hanging out with Kendyl, the daughter of Jill’s friend since high school, Ryan.
He doesn’t look unhappy sharing a chair with such a cutie girl.
This is Florida, so you know we had to spend some fun times on the water!
Having a great time at the beach, running from the waves.
Enjoying the view from Uncle Corey’s boat.
Swimming in our new pool!
Fun times in the pool with GrandPoppa
We did a cleanup on the Suwannee River over Halloween weekend and it was fun!
There were plenty of fun adventures to be had at home as well.
Making homemade pizza is more fun dressed as an Italian chef,
complete with pipe-cleaner mustache.
James lost his first tooth this summer, and has gone on to lose two more!
The training wheels came off and he is a kid on the move now!
James discovered a love of reading and may be found almost anywhere
 with a book in his hands. I couldn’t be happier about this.
Jill finally finished the quilt she designed and made for Chris.
Welcome to Florida, here’s your new blanket in the middle of summer!
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a road trip, so we headed up to Uncle Dan & Aunt Naomi’s cabin in Virginia with our friends, the Paul Family, for some Fourth of July fun in the mountains. Thanks again to Dan & Naomi for the amazing hospitality and generosity in sharing their cabin. We always have a wonderful time and feel so welcome! 
Enjoying the Independence Day Parade in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia. Good times!
James, Reese, and Quinn taking a break from our hike in the Shenandoah National Park.
Creek-walking near the cabin. So beautiful!
Being closer to our family has been a great benefit of (and one of the main reasons for) our move to Florida. James is very close to his Shenk cousins and loves how frequently they get to see each other and play together. 
Kodey, Hope, James, Taylor, and Jackson. Adorable!
At the end of July, we took on our biggest adventure of 2015– buying a house! We found a great fixer-upper house that was just the right size for us and had a huge yard (1 1/3 acres!) full of amazing old trees. The best tree by far is in the front yard, a huge old oak tree that stretches almost all the way across the front, and inspired us to give our home the tongue-in-cheek name of Oakview Manor. We spent almost three months working on the inside and finally moved in in late October. There is still a long way to go, but we love what we have accomplished so far and look forward to future updates as time and money permit. A future blog post will go into more detail and share a lot of before-and-afters, but there are a couple things in the works right now that we want to finish first. So, for now, you get a picture of the outside right after we bought it and our beautiful old oak tree.
You can see we have some work to do, but we are excited to see where we go from here!
Going to have to use the wide-angle next time.
As always, in 2015 Leo remained the best dog in the world and we are so happy to have him as part of our family.