Monday, November 19, 2007

Sheep, Bears and Mandy, OH MY!

Yes, that is a BIG, black bear sitting on a limb!

Talk about a day of sure fun, our family spent Saturday morning of my birthday weekend at WNC Nature Center. IT had a combination of inside reptiles and insects and outside creatures. We saw peacocks, otters, mountain lions, black panthers, coyotes, a black bear, deer, snakes, turtles, and even an added bonus, one of my college roommates: Mandy Walters!
As we were finishing up our adventure we navigated back to the beginning and in walks Mandy. What a God thing! I had just told a mutal friend,"How fun would it be to pop in on Mandy since they had just moved to a town close to Asheville?" God had other plans, He brought us together. I was giddy the whole rest of the day just knowing that I had quickly embraced a sweet friend whom I had not seen in many years....too many. She has 4 beautiful children. Three were with her and one has gone on to be with our Heavenly Father. Mandy just was radiant! She loves being a mama nurturing her young. Oh, I was just a delightful surprise!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grandmother's 60th

Tate, Me, LM, Bird, Haywood, Hallsey, Owen(where? red/blue hat), Griffin(where?green/black hat), Hamilton, Chad

Hallsey and Tate

(l-r) Haywood, Owen, Mom (aka Grandmother), Chris (aka Bird), Hamilton, Lisa Marie

Our family had a blast last weekend celebrating Mom's 60th birthday. We all met in Asheville, NC for the gathering. There is just so much to do in Asheville that we barely scratched the surface. Our first adventures when we arrived at the hotel was to check out the was great! Grandmother arrived while we were there and we decided to go out to dinner at a local mexican joint. Great food! That is one thing you can expect from Asheville...clean food. I tried for the first time a sweet potatoe, black bean, and kale burrito. I must say that my first bite I closed my eyes ( a mental thing) but it was FABULOUS!
While at dinner, we showered mom with goodies including a massage from her therapist back in Chapel Hill and a photo book of all the grandkids that we made on snapfish. It's a great gift for family near and far if they want lots of photos of your little ones.
Dear Lord, thank you for my mom! She is a blessing in so many ways to our family. She loves all the grandchildren with more love than I can imagine and pursues them indivdually. She cares daily for her aging mom, Ivey. She longs for family time with us and for that I am grateful. Lord, thank you for creating her to be who she is!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mommy's Weekends Away

Talk about indulgent, I really pushed the envelope with Chad when these opportunites came up. The weekend before Halloween I went on a business trip with Juice PLus to Memphis for the Fall International Confernence. As always, I was reminded of the big picture in regards to health, the realities that most people either won't, don't or can't make drastic changes in their American diets and that I should be encouraging anyone and everyone in regards to their health and the helath of their families! It was a fabulous weekend to glean from nurses, naturopathic doctors, and common people like me with a passion for health.

Yes, Chad encouraged me to get away and enjoy the time of learning, and so he called in the troops...his wonderful mom. Knowing that he was flying solo 2 weekends in a row, he asked her to come one of those. Of course, she was ready, willing and able. She is always wanting a reason to come and love on the boys. "Her boys" as she calls them.

The very next weekend, I had the opportunity to "Remember, Rest, and Relate" at our church's first annual women's retreat. What fun! About 70 girls of varying ages attended and we were blessed beyond measure to connect, meet, laugh, cry, and remind ourselves of who we are in Christ, how he REALLY sees us. For me that weekend, I savored quite a few quiet moments with my Maker, relished the fall foliage, and spent much time writing. When I wasn't doing that, I actually joined the skit team and got the whole crowd laughing at us most of the time. If you are REALLY interested and want to see a lovely picture of our attire, go to Karen's blog and scrolled down until you see some crazies in 70's garb.

Yes, Chad flew solo that weekend and did amazingly well, as always. I know the boys loved every moment with their daddy and I did too:-) Some of the girls on the retreat kept asking, how are the boys? I would say, "Chad and I's philosophy on weekends away - there are quite a few for Chad- is No news is good news, so I honestly don't know, all I know is that they are having fun!"

I encourage any mom and ALL moms to refresh yourself as a mother and spend some quality time away. I definately came back a better momma and ready for the winter. Hopefully all you girls can do that for yourself sometime!

Our Halloween Treats

We decided the day before Halloween to make our own treats to snack on, and I mean..what a treat. Can't say that cookies are a weekly adventure in our home, so it was extra special to make them. Together we made the dough, rolled it out, used the pumpkin cutter and then baked. While they cooled, we had a lesson in making colors: using icing. They had a blast! If you know much about Griffin, it's that his favortie color is GREEN, so every cookie he made HAD to be green. As for Owen, he is partial to orange but go a little crazy doing polkadots on a few. Much to daddy's surprise we made something he would enjoy. Good ole' fashion sugar cookies! Our day of indulgence....

Mammoth Bubble Bee

I know this seems a little odd, and it was. The boys and I were outside on the blanket one day in October, I look over at the base of a bush in our yard and here was this HUGE bubble bee. I really just stared at it for a few minutes, because it looked like a fake toy that you could find in our playroom. I really just wanted to see if it would move. OH, my goodness, it was beautiful! To give you a point of reference for it's size, it was about 2 inches long! It looked so sturdy, fuzzy and content just sitting there in the mulch. The boys and I watched it for a good while and it barely moved. Just amazing! That is one of the many things I have never done before having children, just stare at a bug? To think that God made that sweet creature. Fun stuff!

Can I ride?

Lately, Tate has been trying his darndest(is that a word...only in TN) to keep up with his big brothers. Most afternoons are spent outside pushing, riding, pulling or moving some kind of object up and down the driveway. THis was a glimpse of a Sunday afternoon before our little chilly-snap. I'm not saying cold, because it really was just chilly! My little boy is growing up so much, I just can't believe how much faster each consecutive child's first years are. Does that make any sense? Oh well, I hope I'm clear! All that to say, I just love our little Tater Bud!

Sharks Alive

There is Owen painting his handmade shark. He decided that the shark was going to be multicolored, but mostly purple. Creative I say! I assisted in the modeling, but he informed me of all the fins needed, shape of the mouth, and we made sure everything was proportional. Great job Owen, I'm proud of your diligence!

Rainbow of Green

Some of you may be wondering, "What in the heck is that!" and I don't blame you. A few years ago I thought it was a faint memory from my childhood, and much more colorful now. These are FuzziBuns cloth diapers. Many of you may still be confused, but this is the route we have choosen to go with Tate. In June, after much thought with 2 in diapers, the enormous landfill we were creating with our on diaper collection and to be good stewards of our money, we took the plunge. Literally, into the toilet! Daily or should I say every few hours, I will wash out the diapers, place them in a "holding" bin unitl the end of the day, and at that point, I throw all the diapers from the day into the wash and hang them up to dry overnight.

Yes, I will not lie, it is more effort, time and energy on my part, but to know that we are conserving environmentally and financially, so I press on. Our family by no means gets the award for eco-friendly lifestyle, but to know that I can start this one change to impact my children's future home is gratifying.

So, this is our own rainbow of green in our home every night:-)

Boycott Blogging?

To answer many of your questions, no I'm not boycotting blogging and yes I have lots of interesting things to share over the last month and a half. I have loved getting on and reading all of yours, but quite frankly, being gone 3 weeks in a row as thrown my journaling into a tailspin. Yes, I enjoy it, but no it's not at the top of my list daily. With all that to say....hang on, I'm going to give you guys a rough jab at the adventure I've been on.