Thursday, September 27, 2007

We're going camping....

....and we leave tomorrow after David gets home. The boys are SO excited (the girls are a little more nervous!), but it should be so fun!! It's starting to dawn on me (after Sue's phone calls this afternoon), that I'm really going to have to THINK through packing - for real!!! Just going to a campsite less than an hour away, and we'll come back early SUnday morning for church, but we're looking forward to it. Anyone have any camping wisdom for me - I will admit I'm nervous!!!

His "Woman"

This was so funny. At our friendly, neighborhood YMCA, there is usually an older man (probably 70 years old) that stands at the door and greets everyone and gives the kids cookies or lollipops when they leave. Well, he's there every morning like we are, so my boys have really grown to love Mr. Ira. (And boy does he love on Miss Callie! - he even carried her to the van one day when I had to carry out my fit-throwing, 2 year old!) Anyways, he told us about 2 weeks ago that he was going to be gone for a few weeks because his wife was having a hip replacement surgery. So the boys have missed him, and every day, they still ask me if he's going to be back. Well, this morning we were leaving their childcare room, and Josiah says "I wonder if Mr. Ira is going to be there. Oh no, I remember, he's still with his woman." I bust out laughing - I said "Do you mean his wife?" It was so funny - two moms were behind me and they got a kick out of it too!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Nice, Relaxing Beach Afternoon

Yesterday after Callie's morning nap, I decided we just needed a change of scenery so off we headed to the beach!! I've been wanting to do a beach day for several weeks, but never was able to fit it into our schedule until yesterday! I just decided we needed to go! The kids had a ball playing in the sand and in the water. Callie just LOVED it! I would have taken my camera, but I was trying to keep an eye on all 3 at the beach (and not ruin my camera like my sweet friend Courtney!!) It was so relaxing - felt so good to get out and just enjoy the afternoon together like that.

And then, to top it all off, the Titans won their Monday night game last night - big time!!! Go Titans!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Yesterday, our church was told that our senior pastor is resigning. Very shocking and saddening news. Change, whether good or bad, is always hard to deal with. Especially when it's unexpected. A lot of heads were spinning yesterday (and today!), and God really calmed my spirit today. While I was running this morning, I was listening to "You Will Be Our God" by Travis Cottrell. It was the perfect message for what I needed to hear this morning. David and I have been working in church ministry for many years together, and have been through things like this before. The main thing that we have to keep focused on is that God is still God - even in the midst of all kinds of uncertainties. A church is made up of people following after their God - and this song spoke to that. The chorus says "You will be our God. We'll be your people forever. Because you have loved us and called us your own, You will reign in our hearts alone. You will be our God. You will be our God." (If I could figure out how to add a link of this song from my computer, I would!)

And so God, there are some people of Atlantic Shores today that are hurting right now and confused and a little scared too. But You will be our God and we will be your people.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Our first family run!

I tried to put this picture on the side, but it looked funny (trying to make it horizontal). I loved our first "running" picture though, and had to post it!

We're Activated!!!

Getting all warmed up and stretched out (do you REALLY have to stretch if you're just running a mile??)
And we're off!!!

Here's Josiah after the race!!! Happy, but hot and sweaty! He ran the whole way!

This morning was our first race as a family!!! It was not a REAL race, but the Y was sponsoring an "Activate America" day today down at our AAA baseball stadium. What fun we had! They had lots of fun activities and games for the kids, a Christian man there who has won Strongest Man competitions and pulled a BUS for us, and of course the 1 mile fun walk/run. We had a blast! Josiah has been looking forward to this all week (so was I), and we had a great time! They had everyone out in the parking lot to do our "stretches" together (and they did this hilarious "cha cha" song that I looked ridiculous doing (one of my 8 things should have been that I CAN'T DANCE!), and then we were off! And since most everyone was walking, Josiah and I led the pack!! We had so much fun - they had Y workers all along the course to show us the way, and they were cheering him on, clapping for him, it was too cute!!! It's gotten me very excited for the next REAL race for me!!! A very fun morning!!!

Oh, and Callie finally got to try green veggies today. Green beans - definitely did NOT like them!!! The boys got a KICK out of seeing that!!! We'll try again tomorrow!

Friday Night...and 7 kids!

Jacob, Seth Albritton, Joel Albritton, and Josiah (they were in bathing suits waiting for David to get home so we could go swim!!)

Seth was so cute with Callie. He said that "she really loves when you play peek-a-boo...but you have to do it two times before she'll smile!"

Here they all are (well, Callie was in bed already). Going around the table, it's Joel Albritton, Anna Claire Albritton, Jacob, Seth Albritton, Harris Albritton, and Josiah. And the pizza they all inhaled!

Seth, Anna Claire, Joel, and Jacob building yet another track.

So I'm hanging out on Friday afternoon, feeding Callie her lunch, when my neighbor Julie calls. She asked if I could watch her 4 kids for the afternoon/evening - she was heading to Lynchburg for a women's conference (jealous!!), and her husband had a wedding rehearsal that they forgot he had to do. Anyways, around 2 pm, her kids came over (ages 10, 8, 6, and 4). What fun we had!!! Jacob and Callie thought it was great waking up from their naps to a household of kids to play with!! Once David got home, we headed to the pool (indoor!) to swim for a little bit before dinner. I WISHED I could have taken a picture, but we were quite busy keeping eyes on the 7 kids!!! It was a blast though (I think we stressed the lifeguard out - those indoor ones are used to not a whole lot of activity!!!) We came home and had pizza for dinner, and I realized that I'm going to have to get used to making a lot more food once our kids grow up a bit more. We went through 3 pizzas with not a crumb left. They are sweet kids, and we had a great time with them! How grateful we are to have great neighbors!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Be Still

As I sat down a little while ago to do my Beth Moore homework (we're doing "A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place), I could think of about 15 other things that I could also be doing. I knew Satan was trying to keep me from it, but I was ready for it!! The first page of my homework had our verse for the day, which was:

"The Lord will fight for you; You need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

I loved it! It's in the passage talking about Moses and the Hebrews leaving Egypt. They begin to see the Egyptians coming after them and they are panicking and crying out "Why did you bring us would have been better for us to stay in Egypt." Moses tells them to stand firm and rest assured that God will deliver them, and then says that verse. I just LOVED it - if only we could really Be Still and know that HE is God more often!! I've enjoyed my "still" time this afternoon!! Thanks for that reminder, God!


This morning I ran 4 miles!!!! Once again, I really wanted to throw my hands up in the air and scream! I was so excited. On Tuesday, I meet my friend Stephanie (my unofficial running "coach) and run with her. She made me go outside with her and she took me on a 3.2 mile loop. It was much harder than my outside run on Sunday - we went faster (she probably felt like she was walking) than I did on Sunday, and it was a loop that I had never gone on - so I didn't know where the end was!!! Anyways, we talked about how to vary up my running so my muscles don't plateau, etc, and she was encouraging me to slow down a bit so that I can increase my distance. I'd been doing 3 mi for about a month, but slowly increasing speed a bit. So today, I kept my speed the same and ran 4 miles! I was really surprised at how good I felt doing it! I thought I'd never do anymore than 3 (actually, I never thought I'd run 1 mile!) So thanks for your encouragement Stephanie, Kelli, and Kristen! I may actually get there! :)

Along those same lines, Josiah is excited about getting to run a "race" with me this Saturday. The Y is doing an "Activate America" 1 mile walk and so I thought it was the perfect opportunity for our whole family to get to go. I'd love to be able to borrow a double jogging stroller (does anyone have one I could borrow for Sat?) so that David could run WITH me. Otherwise, Josiah and I are going to do it, and David will have the little two in the stroller. Wouldn't we be a cute family all running together? We're excited - Josiah's REALLY excited. He was putting his flip flops on this morning and said "I'm going to save my new sneakers for our race on Saturday!" I'll probably be sweatier than he will be!

So we're off to a good start. It's been a long week already. Some very trying afternoons with the boys, David's been gone each night for different things, lots on our plate. Last night I was in bed at 8:30 pm - I just couldn't handle anymore. It felt good to have a FULL night's sleep like that, and the gym topped off my therapy! I feel much more in control of things today!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

She's trying to crawl...

...And I'm trying not to let her!!! (And as I'm typing this post, David is calling me from the family room saying "she's crawling again!") Oh boy oh boy. What happened to my little baby staying a little baby? Good grief - she's only 5 months old!

An AWESOME Sunday!!!

And I don't use the word "Awesome" lightly!!! We had an incredible time of worship this morning at church - I just loved every song! Then we came home - well, actually, we had lunch at Moe's and discovered a new great deal!! On Sundays, Kid's Meals are only $1.00!! And it included a quesadilla (or taco or burrito), chips, cookie, and drink - what a bargain!! It was a great treat for us. After the kids were settled in for their naps, I went for a run outside for the first time!!! I've been dreading this, afraid that I wouldn't be able to run at all outside - I've gotten very used to the treadmill, being able to see exactly where I was on the treadmill display, etc. It was really good though - I was able to go 3.2 miles and only a hair slower than what I was doing inside. But it was such an invigorating run - I was listening to David's IPOD with our Kinetic praise music on it and just really digging it!! We started our Biblestudy last Wednesday, and one of the things that was mentioned in the lesson was that when our awe of God increases, so does our faith. I think that's a great statement - and very true. One of the songs that we sang this morning was "Amazed" - the lyrics of the chorus are very simple, but profound. They say "Lord, I'm amazed by You, and how You love me." I really am. Such a great, full of worship day!!!

Goin' Bowling!!!

My handsome men and their very handsome shoes!!

This was a very popular place for Jacob - he loved standing here watching the bowling balls come back up! I felt bad for the people that were REALLY trying to bowl in the lane next to us!

Josiah insisted on doing it completely on his own. He was very serious as he watched the ball go down the lane. (And you see Jacob just watching the ball returner!)

I totally forgot to post about our Friday night activity!!! We decided to go bowling!! It was so much fun!! The boys had seen an episode of Curious George during the week and he went bowling, so they asked about if we could go. It was absolutely hilarious - Josiah was SO excited, and of course Jacob just wants to do whatever he's doing. The boys were a riot - they thought it was great that they could carry the bowling balls and throw them down all by themselves. Callie was content to hang out and watch all the action. David & I hadn't been in YEARS - before we had children - and I was astounded at how much nicer bowling alleys are now! We had a blast! Oh - and I didn't take a picture of the scoreboard, but let's just say that I GREATLY benefitted from bringing kids with me - the rails in the gutters are GENIUS!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Great Weekend...and still 1 more day to go!

It's been a wonderful weekend so far. After a very crazy week with everything that was happening with the plumber and all, it has been a very nice, relaxing day today! Nothing major - just some GREAT family time! We did head up to Barnes & Noble this morning - they opened a brand new one and had a grand opening celebration. Free books for the kids, a special "cow" storytime and fun crafts. It was great fun, but nice and low-key. We swam tonight before dinner and it felt fantastic - just very relaxing. So thankful for this weekends that aren't so rushed!! And we still have one more day of it! Hooray!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm with the Band!

We had band practice last night for Kinetic, and Callie loved it!! She sat on her blanket and just stared at the guitar players! It was so cute. Then she finally wrestled my microphone away from me and enjoyed figuring that out. I'd much rather her be a vocalist than a crazy guitar player! :)

Workin' Out!

I've been telling the boys for weeks that I would take their picture at the Y, and I finally did! In their classroom where they play while I workout, they have these adorable little fitness machines for the kids to practice on. They have a treadmill too, but the boys didn't want to do that one! Aren't they hilarious? They like to work out and then play, they said! :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

The culprit...

So here it is. The picture of what has caused quite an extensive and expensive repair! Do you see the tiny pin-sized hole? The plumber said some concrete got onto it long, long ago (maybe when building) and over time eroded that little bitty hole. Sigh.

Future Babysitter!

I wish we lived closer - Rebekah would be a GREAT babysitter! :)

What a Monday!!!

Here was the hole they had to jackhammer!! A tiny pin-sized hole in a copper pipe under the floor - and all this mess (and expense!)

What a day!!! I'll keep this very brief, but it was a crazy morning!! On my way home from the Y this morning, the plumber called and said he could be on his way over to fix a leaky pipe that was discovered under the house. So we raced home, got a QUICK shower, called Jayne to see if we could come hide out over there, packed the kids up, and off we went!! We had to be gone while they were working all day over here - jack hammers, concrete, etc, etc. Everything has been somewhat restored now - at least the pipe was replaced and our water meter has stopped running! I'll be taking a copy of the repair bills to City Hall tomorrow to have our water bills adjusted, but what a day!!

A BIG thank you to Jayne and Grayson who let us crash their day! The kids had a BLAST - they enjoyed Mickey Mouse clubhouse toys most of the day and Josiah loved some new games (love those consignment sale games!) What fun - the boys thought it was the best day ever - playing with Grayson, Wendy's for lunch, seeing a jackhammer in the plumber's truck, wet concrete in the house - what could be better, right?

Even if they ARE Cowboys fans....

Here are the girls - Rebekah, Callie, and Bailey. They had SO much fun together. Callie LOVES these girls!!!

And here are the boys - they had a blast!!! (Joshua was woken up early from his nap, and wasn't super happy about that fact). They had a blast together though!

A LOT of time was spent playing trains together - all 5 of the big kids crawling around this track. Hilarious!

Rebekah and Josiah - our BIG kids - working hard on some masterpieces for the parents during rest time.

All of our precious children - Jacob, Josiah, Joshua, Rebekah (holding Callie), Bailey. I am so thankful for these friends!

Even if they are Cowboys fans...we still LOVE the Cassada family!!! One of my dearest friends from high school, Courtney Cassada, came with her family to visit us on Saturday night and Sunday. They were on their way to Nags Head for vacation (and thankful that Gabrielle turned out to be not a big deal!), so they broke up their trip by stopping at our house. The kids had a blast - she has 3 also - and had so much fun playing together!!! I usually am able to see Courtney & the kids when I'm up in Northern VA seeing my mom, but it has been FOREVER since the 4 of us adults got to catch up with each other!!! The time went by WAY too quickly, but we look forward to the next visit as always.

Oh -and picking up 6 kids from Sunday School was exhausting! :) And the Titans AND Cowboys won on Saturday! :)


On Saturday, Callie's food world was expanded! After doing well with her cereal for several weeks and working up to 3x a day with it, she was able to have veggies introduced to her diet! I had some carrots, so that ended up being her first food! I made a batch of baby food in the afternoon and Callie ate it all up! She didn't make any weird faces or anything - just ate the whole bowlful!!! When I was washing out the orange-colored ice cube tray after I made a batch of food, it brought back such fun memories of feeding the boys (mainly Josiah - Jacob went straight to table food). Just wait until she gets to try mac & cheese! :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

I can see much better now!

After weeks of attempting to free herself from bouncy seats, swings, and Bumbo seats, we finally got the high chair down from the attic for Miss Callie. She was very happy to finally be able to see what was happening at the dinner table last night!! She has still been quite enjoying her cereal, and we will start her on carrots this weekend. I'm bracing myself for some extra laundry!!! :)

It's a Slip & Slide, Mom!

Remember how I said our neighborhood had a water cookout this weekend? And the big hit with my boys was their first experience on a slip & slide? Well, this morning, after getting back from my run, the boys created their own slip & slide with the couch pillows. I was sitting at the table eating my breakfast and Josiah came in the kitchen to fill up a cup with water. Luckily, I was clued in and asked what it was for. He said it was for their slip & slide and went running into the family room. Thankfully, I caught him before it was too late!!! They had a ball on their pretend slip & slide though!

Service with a Smile!

So my free camera battery arrived yesterday! Hooray - it's charged and ready to go!!! And the funniest thing is that they (Canon) included a peppermint candy in the package with the battery!! Talk about nice! :)

When I was finished running this morning, I was logging it in the FitLinx system, and the screen started flashing this "congratulations" note to me - apparently I hit the 15,000 point mark (they assign points for cardio minutes, weight lifted, etc). I think this means I get free socks or something like that! :) I was a bit embarrassed, I will admit!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's on it's way....

I got word yesterday from Canon that they have sent my free replacement battery via FedEx!! Hopefully it should arrive today and we should be back in the picture taking business!! I have missed so many picture taking opportunities in the last two weeks because of all this....

Big morning already and hoping for a slightly easier afternoon. Gearing up for a big weekend with some dear friends coming in town on Saturday!!! Yahoo!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Mom's Prayer on the First Day of School

A Mom's Prayer On the First Day of School

Here we are again, Lord. Their backpacks are loaded and their faces are scrubbed and their lunch accounts are full.And I know you'll walk with them, Lord. You always do. But a mom still has to ask.Will You walk with them? Will You whisper to them what they need to hear, when I'm not there to whisper it?Will You please, oh please, cover their school with the protection only You can give, and will You keep harm far away?Will You make their minds strong and ready to learn? Will You help them understand that hard work honors the One who created them?Will You guide their teachers, giving them patience and wisdom and creativity and more patience? Will You bless them for their efforts?Will You love all those children there, the ones whose lunch accounts aren't full, the ones who feel alone? Will You teach my children to be kind and unselfish and to love those who are different from them? Will You point them back toward home just as soon as you can?Lord, I give them to You today and everyday, trusting them to Your care. Amen.

(taken from another mom's blog)

Happy (???) Back to School!

So I don't even have any kids GOING to school this year, and yet I still felt it today!!! There was a crowd of kids waiting for the bus at our corner, traffic on the way to the gym, a TON of people in the cardio area (thankfully I was already into my 3 miles before they came), and people were waiting for the FitLinxx strength machines!!! I had to stop by Target on my way home from the gym (I was SO embarrassed - all nasty and sweaty) because I had NO diapers in the house for Callie. As I was walking in and getting the 3 kids situated, a lady passed me and said "Don't worry - in a few years, you'll be like me - dropping off all your kids to school and then shopping at Target in peace by yourself!!!" Pretty funny. I'm excited about this year at home with all 3 kids - although shopping at Target by myself is pretty appealing too! One day!!

To all you 1st day of school-ers - can't wait to hear how it goes today!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Day! (Glad I'm not in labor!!!)

Don't you always think about the poor women in labor on Labor Day? I always do! One of my friends actually was several years ago!! Anyways, hopefully everyone (else) has been enjoying their day off from work!!!

We very much enjoyed our Sunday afternoon yesterday. David, Callie, and Jacob enjoyed a big nap after church, and Josiah and I enjoyed some time together & at the Y. I went ahead and got my run in, knowing that I probably wouldn't want to get up early today!! Then we headed to one of our city parks up the street for a picnic dinner. The Virginia Symphony played a concert, and upon arrival, we learned that they would be doing fireworks afterwards!!! It was quite a wonderful evening - nice and relaxing (thanks to David who took the boys every now and then to go run while the girls sat and listened to the beautiful music!). We all really enjoyed the peaceful family time. And the fireworks were GREAT!! It was a pleasant surprise to have those!!

Today, our cul-de-sac had a neighborhood cookout to celebrate the holiday and say goodbye to one of our neighbors that is moving to CA. It was great fun to get together with everyone (who doesn't love a Cookout!), and the kids (there are about 20 of them - literally - on our court) had a blast!!! They played a bunch of water games, and REALLY loved the Spiderman slip & slide!! That was Josiah's VERY favorite!! Tonight, we headed down to the oceanfront to hear David's band play at 31st street. The weather was beautiful, the kids enjoyed playing down at the water & in the sand for a while, and I always love to see my husband performing! A fabulous weekend for sure!!

Tomorrow is a big day for several friends of mine - their children start school tomorrow or Wednesday. Know that I am praying for each of you and your precious children too!!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Can you believe it's September? Really?

Other than the fact that David has started back to school, I can't believe it's September!!! Christmas will be here before we know it!!! Anyways, the weather has been beautiful, and it looks like it should stay that way all this next week. I'm getting excited about the fall weather!!! The boys have been talking non-stop about their birthdays that are approaching, so it's making me realize that fall is almost here!!! Crazy!

Yesterday afternoon was a long afternoon - David had to go straight to William & Mary after school to perform with his band, so we didn't get to see him at all. Just made for a long afternoon/evening. Today was a great family day though. We got some yard work done in the morning, which felt VERY good. (Counts as some kind of a workout, right? I didn't run this AM) Then after Callie woke up from her morning nap, we headed to Botanical Gardens. They were having a "birthday party" to celebrate their 1st birthday after building the Children's WOW gardens. It was so much fun! The boys loved getting to go back (we went on Tuesday with the Judd's) and show David everything they had seen. The staff had lots of different crafts and activities set up for the kids in honor of the "birthday", and even had birthday cake & juice!!! We spent most all of the day there - got to explore some new paths, walk around the "grownup garden" as Jacob called it, and just loved being outside together! David's getting very excited to take them camping - they just love being outside!! So it was quite fun.

We came home and all the kids were worn out! David headed down to the Oceanfront to sing again tonight, and the kids got baths and in bed early. 7 pm - all 3 kids completely asleep after our big adventure! Aaahhhhh. Nice and quiet for me tonight!!!