Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy 2013!

Oh how I have missed the mental escape that comes with tapping my fingers on a keyboard to share the mundaneness of our simple life, but I hope to be back. We had some computer glitches to which I could post for the last 6 months but I am hopeful. Hopeful for a new start. Hopeful to share the silliness of home and the richness of what my Father continues to teach me. So instead of rehashing the last 6 months, I will share our 2012 highlights: 1- Chad has completed his D Min class work 2- Owen played his first soccer season this past fall and loved it 3- Griffin and Tate shared the soccer field with each other on the same team 4- I have continued to homeschool a now 4th, 2nd, and Kinder 5- Tate's eye sight has strengthened enough to go without a patch, hence putting "pirate Tate to rest" 6- Griffin has celebrated Christmas toothless again! Last year it was his bottom teeth, this year he only wanted his "2 front teeth" -after swallowing one while playing football 7- we visited family in NC, at Hilton Head, and also in Gatlinburg, TN 8- Chad has also finished chapters 1 & 2 of his dissertation!! Woot-woot (3 more to go) 9- most afternoons our yard is the neighborhood hangout where trampoline dodgeball or football take center stage. 10- We spent a wonderful day with Great Grandma Emmie celebrating her birthday- just weeks before her death..

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wrestling for the Goodness

Today was a hard day in our home. I wish I knew what made today harder than normal, but I'd like to think it had something to do with the fact that we all were missing Daddy! Daddy left this morning at 4am to travel with his youth group to minister to children in Haiti for the week. For whatever the reason, the boys were way more aware this year that daddy's presence in our home is gone. Their threshhold of patience with each other was nonexistent and we were just snippy with each other. Ever had those days? I truly prayed this morning for my attitude to be abounding in love, but sad to say, that went to Haiti with Chad;-) Thankfully my sweet Father wrestled me back in line as I read these words:
I am with you, watching over you constantly. I am Emmanuel; My Presence enfolds you in radiant Love. Nothing, including the brightest blessings and the darkest trials can separate you from Me. Some of my children find Me more readily during dark times, when difficulties force them to depend on Me. Others feel closer to Me when their lives are filled with good things. They respond with thanksgiving and praise, thus opening wide the door to My Presence. I know what you need to draw you nearer to Me. GO through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-trailored provision for your needs. WHen you view life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation.
So, even after a hard day of transitioning, I'm choosing to be thankful for: -a cool summer day -clean dishes -boys that vaccuum -a safe trip for the Haiti bound -time to quietly study for school next year -teachable moments -picnics by the pool -time of the Living Bread -snuggles with T when the pool is too cold -friends for O and G to play with -learning the frustrations of each child and meeting them where they are -watching a high school soccer game -seeing a girl do a flip throw in (boys thought that was SUPER cool) -grateful hearts -ceiling fans -creamy jalapeno dip -a friend to call and check on me -my willingness to share what I've been wrestling with today I'm learning it's good to wrestle with God. He wants to hear my needs, my admitting short-comings, and my devotion to press on towards His goal-but the process is never fun and easy. At the end of today though, I can say that goodness prevailed! With a grateful heart-

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On to Webelos...

THis little man has grown up so much through scouts, and I'm so proud of his accomplishments! He is advancing on to Webelos, which means We Be Loyal Scouts. He is loyal, hard working, and becoming a hambone:-)
At rank advancement they received a new neckerchief(is that a word) and will be getting a tan shirt to go with it.

Griffin's 3rd soccer season

Here is the whole team with Coach Dash, Coach Mike and Coach Austin! Go Wolves!! They had a great season, had fun playing and learned lots about passing as a team and using the whole field.
Griffin loved learning more of the game from Coach Dash. His has a British accent that was super captivating, but more than that he loves soccer and is a great teacher.
These 2 guys had so much fun together on the field. They both worked at passing, assisting, and playing together. Austin's is one of Griffin's best little buddies!

Tate's 1st Soccer Season

This was Tate's 4-5yr old team, minus 3, that he loved playing with this season. Coach Chad and Coach Angela were a great helping guide this team up and down the field.
Getting his 1st trophy was sheer delight for this little athlete!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cravin' Caving!

The "before" picture all clean
400 feet below ground...loving the mud, darkness, and a group of 10 boys in their element: My favorite one!!
A beautiful underground world:
Tucking it in after a full day...sleeping with the bats...
Owen and I went caving in Chattanooga at Raccoon Mtn this past weekend with his troop. About 20 parents and kids were in our group, and we had a blast. As Owen said at about 200 ft below, "I was born for this!" :-) After 3 hours of army crawling, jumping, climbing, splashing, and looking for bats and salamanders, we climbed out, kind of got cleaned up and set up camp. We got to sleep in the cave and that was really thrilling, but I ain't gonna lie, I was sore the next morning. But memories were made and fun was created...good times!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

B and Phia

B waiting to cheer on Owen
This was B's "little snack" - made Jen and I both laugh:-)
Silly Phia
The best egg hunt...Tate brings me the eggs!

A Day in Stones River with the Girls

Poppy and Sophia
O-Man
Tate and Isabella = "B"
Jenna, Laurie, Chad and the kiddos
Griffin and Owen
After the races, we had some chill time together and decided to land at the park, which for my boys, leads to the river:-). Thankfully I was somewhat prepared and brought towels, but just not enough.ha Our cousins, "Phia" and "B" loved playing in the river, finding shells, looking for fish, giggling, and swimming. What a great memory with our "girls."

We have a RUNNER!

Watch the red shorts!
And he's off....
There he goes....
2nd PLACE!!!!
Owen ran a 7:43 for his first run ever!!! We are super proud of him and the best part is...he was just doing it for fun! FOr each of the boys we want them to enjoy themselves with their passions - and to work as unto the LORD. So to see this budding runner was super exciting! Not to mention, his Poppy, who is a runner, and Chad got to witness it and encourage him along the run. Generational FUN RUN :-)

1st 5K - Team Tate

On March 31, I ran my first 5K in honor of Tate! Over the last few months, Tate has been receiving services at a local not-for-profit, Special Kids. They held their first annual 1 mile fun run, 5K and 15K to raise funds for all the children they serve. Our family has been personally touched by the care and compassion Special Kids has for their children. Our family LOVED the racing environment (minus leaving the house at 6) and I definitely see more of these in our future. We had so much fun cheering everyone one, and running for such an amazing cause. At one point on the course they had pictures of the children and I just started crying. It was breathtaking to see their pictures and know that many of these kids would never run or walk, and we were running for THEM!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Luke 2:52

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I will be eternally grateful for the men and women that have taken the time to impart God's Word and His love in my children. This is just ONE example of how Tate is learning about God's love for him through the stories shared at CBS and church. He sometimes will share bits and pieces, but for him to take the initiative, draw the picture, and ASK to be video, and actually talk about it is just priceless to me. He is growing both in wisdom and stature and favor in the LORD. For those who need help understanding Tate's version :-) it is a story of how Jesus was asleep in the boat when his disciples "aka helpers" got scared of the storm....they awoke Jesus and he calmed the waves.

He also did a Jonah story but that one had Jonah diving off the diving board into the water....He said that was the Veggie Tale version. haha

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nine years already??

Happy Birthday Owen!!!!

Owen receiving his "bear" ranking...onto Webelos!

Our thoughtful reader...

Being Goofy! - planking in Nashville!

Dinner at Puckett's with the fam after going to the circus for Owen's birthday outing. I love that he still wants to do things with his family on his birthday!
Lord, thank you for the blessing of Owen. He is such a tender, creative, people lover who cares for many. I know you have planned his days and I wait to watch how you direct his path. Thank you for letting us nurture and care for him these last 9 years...he has taught us so much!"

Some love for my loves!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Got this idea from Pinterest....the boys loved the heart-shape goodie....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Magic Kingdom

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On our Christmas trip to Disney we spent 2 days at Magic Kingdom, and here is a snip-it of our fun there. The first day we stayed in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, then the second day we were in Adventureland and Frontier land. At Fantasyland, we visited Dumbo, Snow White's Scary Adventure, and Prince's Carousel, Mickey's Philarmagic show, and my childhood favorite 'It's A Small World." Tomorrowland was a big hit for the fellas....I think we all rode Space Mtn. about 4 times!!! Buzz Lightyear 3D ride was so cool and Tate loved driving his own car. YIKES! I'm a little scared to see what will come in 10 years:-) Although the park was PACKED (closing each day at 10:30) we had a blast. The guys are at such a fun age to really enjoy trips like these together. We were able to ride things and experience things together, versus the "divide and conquer" approach the last few years. So we are seizing every moment with these guys. Thankfully Mom was able to come down a few days and enjoy the magic with us. It was really fun to share these memories with her too!!

PS... Hollywood Studios video to come....hopefully not a month later:-) haha

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sea World 2011

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On Christmas Day, our family spent a full day at Sea World. It was absolutely amazing for all of us! This past semester we have been studying the "Water Creatures of the 5th Day", so to actually see them up close was a bonus. The first thing the boys wanted to do was ride the Journey to Atlantis water ride before all the crowds got there. Needless-to-say, we rode it 3 more times before we left. After that we headed over to the sea lions and seals exhibit....it was fun finding each now that we know the differences. :-) Then off to the penguins, string rays, and dolphins. We also went to 4 shows that day; 2 Clyde and Seymour Shows and 2 Orca/Killer Whale shows. Clyde and Seymour are sea lions that are highly trained to mimic adults, clap, obey, jump on queue. THe boys loved them, but mom's favorite was Walter the walrus. He was so ugly he was cute!!!! I couldn't believe the size of these creatures. Lastly, Tate's favorite was the orca shows. We watched these massive animals jump, flip, splash, spin, and pose. Both orcas shows the boys wanted to sit in the splash zone...not too bad!

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Throughout the day the had "street entertainment" and in this scene you will recognize 2 of our guys:-) shakin' it! Imagine that! haha

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Salem Scott



I have been so excited to share this precious little picture!! My roomie from college, Amy Scott, and her family have been in an endearing pursuit of this precious soul. I have had the privilege to walk alongside adopting families and this one has been the longest journey. Their paper work has been done and sitting in China for over 5 years, so to watch their patience and grace to raise their own funds, adopt another little one in the waiting, and commit this little one to the Lord has taught me so much!!! Amy and Drew serve at a church in Chattanooga, TN, but both grew up around Winston-Salem, NC. Please pray for Salem as they all adjust to a new normal and big brother Jonathan adjusts to sharing momma and daddy.

Making a Joyful Noise

Hello Friends!!!
It's been awhile, but for some reason our settings were changed and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what to do, until today. Ta-da....so this is the first of a few posts needing to share. Owen is in his 2nd year of violin and it has brought more perseverance, diligence, and patience on everyone as he has worked hard. Here is one of two songs he played at his recital before Christmas. We have been super proud of him and his commitment to it.
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