2015- Year in Review, Part Two

Here are the rest of our 2015 highlights. It really was a great year for us and we are looking forward to an even better 2016!
Moving back to Florida has enabled us to rekindle some great old friendships, and we have enjoyed reconnecting with these friends and introducing all our kids to each other.

We traveled down to Hollywood to spend a weekend with Jill’s college friend, Patrice, and her daughter, Tessa. Later, they came up to Orlando and we added our mutual friend, Kim, to the mix with her daughters, Danielle and Tia. So much laughter!!

James and Tessa chillin’ in the hammock.
Danielle, Tessa, James, and Tia exploring the Harry Potter awesomeness at
Universal Studios.
A fun day at Disney with longtime friend, Jackie, and one of her
beautiful daughters, Audrey.
 Florida, being the popular tourist destination that it is, brings lots of friends and family our way, and we are always thrilled to get together whenever and wherever we can.
Jill and her cousin, Cris, enjoying dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant. Always nice to see her!
Getting wet on the flume ride at Busch Gardens with longtime friend, Joel, and his son, Charlie.
Such a great day!
James and his buddy, Declan, sporting awesome mohawks. These two are crazy together!

Our dearest friends, the C Family, came from Utah for a visit in the early summer and we were thrilled to visit with them here. In August, we headed out to see them and return to our old stomping grounds for a visit. Even though we moved away, Utah remains one of our favorite places and it was great to go back and see the mountains and eat at our favorite restaurants again.

Look at that face! He loves that Gracie girl!
James, Mads, and Gracie in a rare moment of stillness and actual smiles–a photographic miracle!
Kerri and I snuck away one afternoon for some quiet time in the mountains (and clearly there was silliness based on the
weird smile I have).
Mils and Mads with Chris on our awesome hike in the mountains. He’s such a sucker for those sweet girls!
James, Gracie, and Mads exploring the wilderness. Is there anything better?
While we were there, I was so excited to get pictures of the gorgeous girls wearing the dresses I made them last winter (see this post). They looked beautiful and it really made the hard work of making them worth it.
We were lucky enough to get to visit with our former neighbors, the T Family, while we were in Utah as well, but unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of us altogether.
James plays with the lovely Tess. They have been friends since they were babies!
This kid is a traveling pro! He is responsible for his own luggage and carry-on backpack. Love it!
Every once in a blue moon, the Landers tribe will get together and hope that the world is ready for that much stubbornness and teasing of each other in one place. So far, no reported damage…
Kenny, Ricky, Little Ricky, James, Violet Marie, Grandpa Rick, Autumn, and Jill.
While were visiting together, we came across a stray puppy and took him home to see about welcoming him into our family. Max, as we named him, is a fantastic dog and I’m so glad we rescued him, but he wasn’t the ¬†right fit for our family, so we fostered him until we found him a better home and are happy that he’s doing well and off the street.
He’s so cute and such a sweet snuggler!
A couple months into living there, we are settling into the new house. James continues to be homeschooled and is doing really well. I am happy to have so much time with him and to watch him learn and grow each day.
Our beautiful boy.
Enjoying the fire pit we have going in our backyard.
In November, I took on a big challenge. I ran the Disney World Wine & Dine Half-Marathon! It was unfortunately cut short due to bad weather in the area, so we could only run about half the course, but it was such an awesome experience and I’m so grateful my friend, Tanya, made asked me to do it. And now, I never have to do it again.
WE DID IT! We have the medals to prove it!

Christmas 2015 was celebrated at our house this year and it was lovely to welcome people into our new home for the holidays. As always, we are grateful for all of the wonderful cards and gifts that we receive from so many of you and hope that you enjoyed some fun celebrations during the holiday season.

Goofing around with his buddy Sam.
Stealing a kiss from sweet Avery. This kid has mad skills.
Enjoying a Christmas classic in front of our tree.
Chris did an absolutely amazing job hanging lights from our beautiful oak tree!
Standing under it was magical. It was my favorite thing about Christmas in our new house.
My boys. I love them so much and love seeing how much they love each other. We are a lucky family indeed.
Hard to tell if he was excited about this one.
As an aside, he and Chris built this over three nights and it is pretty cool!
So happy to have Abuela join us at our home this year. She and James are so close.
Our little family. Christmas 2015.
Santa brought James the rollerblades he asked for. Look out world!