Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Messy Night

On Thursday morning, we left bright and early (well, actually it wasn't bright yet. It was 4 am and dark) to head to Virginia! We were going to be able to see my Mom for a quick visit, but the real purpose of the trip was to be able to welcome back my precious friend Courtney are her family as they brought home 2 new boys from Rwanda to join their family! More about that later!

We got to Mom's house a little bit after noon and were SO excited to be back to Tutu's house! It always is too long between visits, and they are never long enough! :) Our dinner that night was incredibly delicious...and messy! Ribs, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, and watermelon! Finger lickin' good!

Callie pretty much never leaves my Mom's side when we see her. She ADORES her Tutu! She was Mom's sous chef as they prepared the corn for dinner.
A quick visit to the playground while Caleb and Daddy took a little nap...
It was the first time my kids had ever had ribs - a big success with 3 of them (Jacob is still pretty much anti meat of any kind. I make him eat it, hoping he'll outgrow it, but not yet.)

It's always such a huge sigh of relief when I walk into my Mom's house. I know she understands me and my family. I LOVE that she knows my kids almost as well as I do. I know that she loves us - even in spite of the disobedience and ugly attitudes that were displayed during the day. And I'm SO thankful that she's not TOO far away so that we can pop in and visit!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Celebration of Liberty!

A few days before, I was reminded by a friend of the annual patriotic concert that another church in the area does every year. I thought it would be a great way for us to kick off a fun, patriotic week and decided to get our tickets to go on Sunday night. When David got back in town around midnight on Saturday night, I told him of my plans. He informed me that he had a deacon's meeting. Hmmm. I already had my hopes up and decided to brave it on my own with the kids!

I can't even remember what she was having such a great time about in this picture, but it captures HER pretty well I think! :)
We all got dressed in our red, white, and blue, and off we headed!
We sat on the second level of the balcony and as close to the stage as we could get. I lectured the kids for quite a bit about what kind of behavior was to be expected. I knew the first part of the concert would be very lively - with a parade, costumed characters, patriotric flag-waving songs. It was the second half of the program (remembering the fallen troops, etc) that I was concerned about! The kids did very well. Caleb got pretty squirmy by the end, but it was past his bedtime, and 1.5 hours is a long time to ask a 22 month old to sit through a concert! We loved seeing all the soldiers and it definitely was a great reminder for the kids of how much we have to be thankful for. The concert ended with INDOOR fireworks (which Caleb was NOT a fan of) - talk about going out with a bang! :)

VBS Street Party!

In keeping with the NY theme that was VBS this year, we threw a HUGE block party after church on Sunday. We promoted the day BIG time to try and get many of the kids that came during the week to come back on Sunday with their families and attend church! It was very successful, and we had a GREAT time at the street party! The pastors were all wearing special shirts with their names on the back, and the kids had a game to play. When they got 6 of the 9 to sign their card, they could turn it in for a free tshirt from the tshirt vendors :) and they were also entered into the drawing for a bucket of summer fun toys. It was a GREAT way for the kids to get to know who our pastors are!
It was HOT, so Caleb took a little break and enjoyed a sno-cone!

He also enjoyed some of David's hot dog - even with ketchup and mustard! (none of my other kids will eat mustard!)
Callie REALLY wanted to get her face painted, but it was a super long line. She waited with her friend Carlie and they were VERY patient....even though they were hot and tired!

Taking a break and having some cotton candy!
LOVE these girls. Alli told me two days before this that her husband got a new job in WV and they are going to be moving at the end of the summer. Can't tell you had sad it makes my heart. I'm going to have one VERY sad little girl when I tell her....
The girls wanted unicorns...
Holding still for the finishing touches - the glitter!
Definitely worth the wait! :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


After such a crazy busy hectic loud week, it was so nice to make it to Saturday! We headed to the library since we missed our "normal" midweek library visit. Josiah is a voracious reader and no matter how many chapter books he checks out, he always runs out before we go again the next week!

All 4 ended up happily coloring while we were there - I had to run and get my camera to capture the moment!! :)

Some friends of ours rented out the clubhouse at our neighborhood pool to do a birthday party for their son, Caleb (on the far left of the picture). We always love a pool party...especially one that we just walk down the street for! Doesn't get much easier than that! :) It was a fun, relaxing way to end a crazy hectic week!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Goodbye to Sweet Friends

Our sweet friends the Stecs came over for the afternoon for a few last hours of fun. They are moving to Kentucky and we will missing having them live right behind our neighborhood!! The kids enjoyed some time down at the creek and one last game of Uno!!

Big Apple Adventure

What an incredible week of VBS we had at Northside!! We had over 400 kids come, 140 volunteers, and countless hours of fun!!! I was blessed enough to be in charge of the music, and was able to recruit some teens to help me on stage as my "rockettes" to help teach the songs and dance steps for the week. We had a BLAST! I absolutely LOVE to teach kids how to use music as a way to worship the Lord. The theme for VBS was "Big Apple Adventure" - so it was all about NY. The music was super fun - very cool and had an "urban" feel. The kids thought it was awesome getting to do some "hip hop" music in church - complete with a song that included a rap of John 3:16! I LOVE getting to teach kids songs that are straight from Scripture - knowing those truths are going to stick in their hearts just thrills me!!

Our service project for the week was for Operation Christmas Child. We gave the kids a challenge to fill 200 boxes before the end of the week. If they were successful, our Children's Pastor and Youth Leader would put on a dress and get a pie in the face. We were successful!!!

We brought two friends from Jacob's kindergarten class with us every day. He was thrilled to get to be a witness to them in this way and they had a blast. Callie and Caleb loved every minute as well. Callie was actually in the VBS rotation for 4 year olds, and the preschool teachers were WONDERFUL with Caleb. (I actually think they have the hardest jobs - the older kids are in the VBS rotations with their groups, the babies are happy just to have anyone love on them - but Caleb is stuck in the middle. The teachers were GREAT - and he LOVED it!!!). We were all completely exhausted by the end of the week, but it was a GREAT exhausted!!! Can't wait until next year! What a huge privilege and BLESSING to be involved in this kind of an outreach for our community and to share the gospel with 400 kids - awesome!

David actually had to leave town unexpectedly on Thursday morning, so he missed the final two days of VBS. We got a call on Tuesday night that his Uncle Tom had passed away. This was his dad's only brother, so David left Thursday morning in order to be there for the funeral service on Saturday morning. He was thankful to be able to go and spend a few days with his family. I hated that he had to go by himself, but glad that it worked out for him anyways.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I think this week of VBS is wearing Josiah out. This is how he came downstairs at about 11 pm on Wednesday night. Completely asleep and sleepwalking, he had put on a long-sleeved SHIRT on his waist (sort of like he was putting on pants). He was totally out. Poor kid. Walked him back up to bed (took the shirt off his legs first :) ) and knew he would LOVE seeing this picture in the morning! :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011


i know these pictures are's bumper cars!! :)

Back in December, I won tickets to a "rock the park" concert. I really had no idea what they were, but I happened to be listening to our christian radio station and they said "we'll take the 7th caller" - and I called and it was me!! They mailed me the tickets and I put them in David's stocking - still not really sure what concert I had won tickets to. I knew it was an outdoor Christian music concert, and figured that if David & I weren't interested in the groups, we'd just give the tickets to our youth group for a giveaway or something. Well, about a month ago as the date was approaching, I pulled the tickets back out to find out more details. I discovered that the 4 tickets I won were to CAROWINDS - the amusement park at the NC/SC state line! It was Christian Music Day and they were going to have several Christian artists there performing throughout the day. But the tickets were also good for admission to the amusement park and waterpark! I was super excited now!

We decided to make arrangements for Callie & Caleb to play at a friend's house and make it a special day for just the big boys. That way we'd really be able to enjoy the park and not just stay in kiddie land all day. (Plus we only won four tickets!) We didn't tell the boys where we were going that morning - just gave them clues all along the way. They guessed it right before we pulled into the parking lot and they were SO excited!! It was SO fun getting to focus on THEM all day long!

One of my all-time favorites from childhood - the Scrambler. Although I felt my age when I got off the ride and felt a little queasy! :)

David did one of those "free fall" rides. NO WAY was I going on that one with him. We just watched.
The boys got to have Dippin' Dots for the first time. It was sort of a bribe to get them to go on one of the biggest roller coasters. It was a loopy one that took us upside down. Rated a "5" on the 1 to 5 scale that the park uses, but we did it! Super proud of them - and they loved it. Josiah liked it better than the big hills rides - Jacob said he likes the big hills better. :)
We only carried around a backpack. Had our money, some water, and our bathing suits and towel in it. SO freeing not to have a diaper bag, snack cup, stroller, or a BABY in my arms for once!!

The one show we watched was a "Snoopy on Ice" show. It was very fun!

We had SUCH a fun day with Josiah and Jacob. We were there when the park opened and stayed until they closed at 10 pm. The kids were totally worn out but absolutely loved every minute. Josiah was very nervous about the whole thing - every time we'd get in line for a ride, he'd say "i'm getting that fluttery feeling again mom" or "I don't think i like roller coasters". And then he'd ride the ride and come off saying "that was awesome! I loved it!" It was hilarious. He was trying to understand why people would want to do something that scared them - how can that be fun? :) We had a blast - a huge blessing to be able to do something like that FOR FREE with our two big boys!

Friday, June 17, 2011

We have a surprise for you!

Two very sweet, tired boys after a full week of VBS fun. We have a VERY special surprise just for the two of you tomorrow morning when you wake up!!! :)

Last Day of Panda Mania!

What a fun week it has been! The kids LOVED going to Panda Mania VBS this week and Caleb & I enjoyed our special dates too! Now I'm all geared up and ready for our own VBS next week at Northside - "the Big Apple Adventure"! It's a NY theme and is going to be SUPER fun!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Callie's Date with Daddy

About a month ago, I got an email from Chick-fil-A about a Daddy/Daughter Date Night coming up. Hadn't ever heard of anything like this before, but knew it was something David & Callie would LOVE to do so I made them a reservation! Callie was SUPER excited about her date with David and was all about getting all dressed up for it! (Her brothers thought it was a little weird that she was getting so dressed up for Chick-fil-a, but i told them to hush!)

SO excited to ride in Daddy's car with JUST him!
Chick-fil-A rolled out the red carpet! :)
This is her "i'm a little bit unsure, maybe half-pretending and half-real shy face"
All shyness disappears when she sees the cow. She LOVES Mr. Cow (and frankly anything dressed up in costume!)

David said that half of the restaurant was made over into a real-looking restaurant for people that had made these reservations. They were seated by the staff, and the tables were covered with white paper with crayons and fresh flowers. The CFA staff came to their tables with a menu to take their orders, and were dressed like real wait staff (white shirts, black pants).
Each table had this card on it...I suppose for the daughters and daddies that need a little nudge with their conversation. Callie doesn't generally need ANY help in this area! :)
They had a man playing the saxophone for some "mood" music...
She picked chicken strips for dinner (she always gets the nuggets but told David she wanted the strips....maybe she felt like she ought to get something "special"? :)
There was a lady doing makeup for the girls... David protectively told her not to do much - only lipgloss :)

What the "restaurant" looked like - there was a dad there with 4 girls :)
They had a spot set up to take pictures of each father/daughter. They took down his name/address and said they will mail him a copy of the picture.
They got free ice cream and toppings (looks like Callie picked gummy bears, sprinkles, m&ms, and maybe even a Reese's? Maybe David snuck that one on there...)
And then Mrs. Cow came! NEVER seen a girl cow before!!!
Callie told me she was Mr. Cow's wife!
Of course she had to play in the Playground area for a bit. Don't you love her smiling face in the crazy mirror!!
Mr. Cow played some music...
She got a carnation on her way out. She LOVED it - told me how MUCH she loved her date with Daddy. When I told her that she could cross it off our Summer List, she said "No! I wanted to have another date with Daddy!" :)