What an AMAZING week it was at Northside's VBS this year! This was our first year running VBS at our new facility, so we were all holding our breath to see if it would all work out the way we had planned - and it did!!! We were blessed with AWESOME weather, amazing volunteers, and some fantastic kids (500 to be exact!!)!!! I was in charge of the music rotation again this year, and although some of the choreography (aka dancing!) knocked me flat out by the end of the days, it was a blast!!! David was around throughout the week to get some pictures for me since I was on stage most of the time! :)
Josiah's crew outside during the recreation rotation. Many of the games included water - good thing since it was near 100 most of the week!!
The rest of the pastoral staff in full costume for a skit during bible time (wonder why they didn't ask David....I think he conveniently was in the bathroom during that part of staff meeting or something!) :)
I suppose these pictures can serve as my belly shots for the week - this is how I spent 3 hours every day that week. Up on stage, dancing around like a crazy person! I'm pretty sure that Lifeway didn't envision a 33 week pregnant person doing all that choreography when they wrote the music!! :)
I had a teen help out for the week - Meredith - and she was AWESOME!!! :)
Wednesday was the day that the gospel message was clearly presented to the kids. Talk about AMAZING wonders!!! We had over 70 kids make first time decisions of faith, over 40 make recommittments, and over 20 take first steps towards God!! THIS is why we do it!! So thrilling to see and be a part of!
Two of my own VBS'ers :)
Our missions project for the week was collecting Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Our children's pastor set a high goal this year of 300 shoeboxes for the week, and if the kids brought in that many, he and our youth pastor would dress up like ballerinas at the closing rally on the last day. Well, we did it! 312 boxes!!!
Children's Pastor - David Ford
Youth Pastor - Mike D'Attoma
What a week! Awesome to see kids get so excited about memorizing Scripture, singing songs of worship with Scripture and biblical truths in them, and learning about God's Awesome Power!! (Yes, I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the week - but it was SO worth it!)
On Wednesday night, we were finishing up rehearsal and I was shocked to see that it looked as thought David was going to wrap up 5 minutes early - this never happens! He complimented the choir on a good rehearsal and then said we were dismissed to the cafe....for a baby shower! Still stunned surprise on my face, trying to figure out who it was for and why I hadn't heard anything about it...then I realized it was for ME! I'm the only pregnant one in the choir!!! Such a fun surprise! :)
The mystery cake - boy or girl? The choir overwhelmingly is siding with Callie on this one and thinking its going to be a girl!
These people that we get to serve alongside of in the Worship Ministry are some of the most wonderful people we have ever had the pleasure of doing ministry with. Not only that, but some of the most precious friendships to me!! We are blessed indeed!
(Don't let the pink "it's a girl" balloon fool you - they got me a pink one and a blue "its a boy" balloon. Caleb wanted to sleep with the "its a boy balloon" in his room that night, so it's not in the picture. No secret clues here! :)
Thankfully David took a picture of the gifts when he got home from practice that night...
...because THIS is what I found when I came out of my room the next morning! Callie and Caleb had RE-opened all the gifts and exclaimed over each one! :)
As soon as I had it in my head to pack up the costumes from the boys' room and put in the attic, the boys decided they were back in love with Star Wars and started dressing up again! Probably had something to do with the 14 hour Star Wars marathon the previous Saturday....Caleb is the newest little Jedi - and he is loving it! :)
Our new Crocs came in the mail - see the happy feet!! :)
For our anniversary, I got David "The Complete Saga" (it's actually called that) - the box set of all 6 Star Wars movies on Blu-Ray. The kids were with me and thought that was AWESOME!! When David unwrapped it, somebody said how great it would be to be able to watch them all in order. Well, that made Josiah and Jacob think how incredibly cool it would be to watch in all in one DAY! Once they had that in their head, there was no stopping them! I told them how LONG that would take, but they assured me they were up for it! I said okay - they could give it a shot on Saturday. We had nothing on the calendar for them and so why not? David turned the first one on at 8 am and I woke up to the sounds of light sabres in surround sound! :) They were still all grins at 11 am when I left to take Callie to a birthday party, and when I came back in the afternoon, they were on the 3rd episode and still loving life.
Caleb and Josiah - who kept telling me it was the coolest day of his life :)
By 5 pm, they were watching the 4th episode, David and Callie had fallen asleep on the couch, and Jacob was STILL curled up with his blanket (as he had been ALL morning). Josiah still all grins, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and claiming it was AWESOME!
We had dinner and they continued with the 5th episode. I gave the younger two a bath, put them in bed, and came downstairs to this:
It's 9 pm now. Jacob is asleep. Josiah still on cloud nine. I'm preparing to fold some laundry and enjoy the Ewoks :). Oh the life with boys!
....this is what was on the desk in my exam room!!! I was waiting to see another partner (I'm rotating through the OBs now) and was waiting to see another doctor that I hadn't seen before. This basket of New Testaments was on the counter! Then as I was leaving, there was a sign taped to the door that was advertising another biblestudy on Revelation that he is preparing to teach in the coming weeks. I mean - is that the coolest!! :)
Checkup was great. Baby looks and sounds great. Head is down and right on my bladder (thanks doctor; couldn't have figured that one out on my own from the 3000 trips to the bathroom that I make daily). Heartbeat was in the 130s today (normally in the 150s....I guess baby was sleepy instead of doing flips like normal....). Measured at the "higher side" of normal today....freaked me out a bit because I wasn't at ALL two weeks ago. Doctor was NOT alarmed at all...said different doctors measure a bit differently...no need for alarm. Wanted to make sure that didn't mean I was having a baby any time soon or anything! :) Everything looks great - be back in 2 more weeks and then things get crazy and I'm there every week! YIKES!!!
Ended the afternoon with a couple of hours at the pool playing "Pool Baseball"....oh the wonderful afternoons of summer!
A friend of mine - she was one of the other room moms with me in Jacob's class this year - invited us to join them over the summer for a few "Extreme Earth" days. She was hoping to add some fun science projects/experiments into their summer plans and wanted to know if we'd like to join them. Yes please!! Charlie and Jacob were good friends this year and he has a younger brother, Jackson, who will be entering kindergarten this fall like Callie. We were excited to get to join them for some fun!!
Painting the volcano that Charlie and Jackson had made the day before...
Creating the city and landscape around that would soon be destroyed by lava :)
Eating some molten lava cake for snack while the paint dried...
VERY yummy and a huge hit with everyone (Callie has asked me probably 100 times since then when we can eat some lava cake again!)
After a bit of play time, we headed outside to start the explosions! :)
Charlie got to go first...and it worked! :)
It was quite fun! I'm thankful for friends who have the creativity and organization that I lack these days in my very pregnant state...and yet allow my kids and I to take along for the fun! :) We had lunch and then swam at their neighborhood pool (they live in the neighborhood right next to ours) for a few hours before heading home. A VERY fun day with friends! :)
Our neighbor down the street offered to keep our kids that night so that David and I could go out for our anniversary. They were so excited to play with their friends and we were so excited to go out to eat in quiet!! :) We went to a nice Italian place here in Lexington that we always forget about but is so yummy! It's the first place we ate at the very first time we came here and interviewed - our Associate Pastor and his wife took us there and we haven't been back since. It we delicious. Fun to talk about where we were 14 years ago, where we hope to be 14 years from now (not pregnant, I can tell you that!)....David said that in 14 more years, I'll be 47 and he'll be 53! Yikes - that sounds old! :) We enjoyed ourselves. Decided to go back home and relax...didn't care to see any of the movies out right now, didn't feel up to walking around (I didn't...very pregnant feeling these days), didn't want to window shop (David hates that...shopping is only fun for him if he is spending money), so we headed home to relax on the couch and rented "Act of Valor". GREAT movie! He had given me the book "Fearless" for our Anniversary and I finished reading it in a day. Awesome book. About our friend, Adam Brown, that we knew from living in VA Beach. He and his family were part of our church there and he was a Navy Seal - part of Seal Team 6 that took down Bin Laden. Adam was killed in action in Afghanistan 2 years ago and this book chronicled his amazing testimony and story of how God totally turned his life around and used him tremendously...and is still using his story to bring Him glory! Awesome read and then great movie about our nation's Seals and the tremendous work they do everyday to keep us safe. Very very thankful indeed.
We picked up Callie & Caleb after our movie was over (the older two were spending the night), walked back home, and then stayed up until after midnight watching the USC Gamecocks win their baseball game to advance to the Finals of the College World Series! They've won the last 2 years in a row - so let's see if we can make it 3!!
This was us 14 years ago. Fresh out of college (well, I was), David was signed to a record deal and travelling full time with Brother's Keeper. Young, fresh faced, and so excited to begin our lives together!
I don't know about the young or fresh faced part, but we are still so thankful to be living our lives together. David pulled out our wedding album to show the kids. (I used to always keep it out on our coffee table....until we had kids....now it's in a box up on a shelf in our closet :) ). He showed them our pictures from the wedding and their comments were hilarious. They thought we looked just the same. Josiah asked if it was very comfortable wearing my white dress and David in his tuxedo. Then the boys were astounded to hear that I was 19 years old! (I quickly shouted out that I had graduated from COLLEGE with my 4 year degree and that's the only reason I was allowed to get married at 19 :)....)
Found Caleb in the other room playing play-doh...I guess pants were optional....
David headed off to work, and the kids and I...
headed to the used-to-be-free-but-now-cost-$1 movies to see Dolphin Tale!! It was great - we all loved it!! We didn't go to any of the free movies last summer - Caleb was at too difficult an age where there was no way he'd sit through a 2 hour movie - but I figured he would do well this year. I was right - he loved it! :) Kept asking where the "bleeding dolphin" was! If you haven't seen it, go see it! Of course, now the kids want to go see "Winter" (the dolphin) when we go on vacation in Florida....
We met some neighbors at our pool after the movies, had some Subway for lunch (Callie and Caleb are eating a TON these days....reminding me of Josiah...uh oh) and swam for a few hours. Came home for an hour and half - long enough for a quick nap for Caleb - and then back in the car to head up to church for choir practice.
Because it was also the first day of summer, Sonic had their milkshakes half-price all day, so we all got one on our way to church...I was sort of hoping it would count as dinner (it didn't...the kids...all 4 of them...were quick to point that out).
They were delicious though - all 5 of us agreed! :) It was a really fun day - with my kids....kind of funny considering it was my anniversary!!! :)
...to the library with me on Tuesdays. Josiah was putting on a puppet show for Callie and Caleb, and Jacob was reading some of the books he had already picked. Josiah is a voracious reader and has been blowing through books left and right. Thankful to have a great public library with fun reading incentive programs for kids...and glad not to have the sole responsibility to pick out books for all four for the next couple of months! :)
I'm pretty sure that I've said on here before that holidays that fall on a Sunday are tough for our crew. Tough for David and I, tough for the kids, tough for all of us. It is SUCH a full busy day anyways, and then you throw in a holiday with "extra" stuff and it just pushes us all over the edge. So here we go - Father's Day falls on Sunday obviously. So I was up to 5:30 am to make breakfast in bed for our daddy. The kids were SO excited to join me and trickled downstairs about 10 minutes later.
They loved doing this for me on Mothers Day, and so now it was Daddy's turn. We brought him up some french toast that we made and the kids all jumped on top of him to give him their cards.
Jacob made his "card" on a piece of paper from a steno pad :) He's not really into flowery packages...it's the message that counts, right? (sounds like his daddy...)
Reading Callie's card...
David decided it would be easier to eat downstairs and so we all headed down to enjoy our french toast breakfast together...at 6 am....
Caleb helped David open his gifts...some new coffee for his Keurig...
... a new brown belt....of course I got him the wrong size....makes no sense that it doesn't match his pants size....and a framed picture of him and the kids from our camping trip to take to his office. It was a fun treat to eat breakfast together before he headed up to church.
You would think that the rest of the morning would go smoothly since I was up with plenty of time to get ready for church and all. I was only singing on praise team in the first service, not the second, so I didn't have to be there super early...only 8:30 am. But of course the kids were cranky (they were up at 5:30 remember?), I was cranky and tired, and so it was a bit rough. We were 5 or 10 minutes late for PT rehearsal and when friend from choir asked how I was, I smiled and sort of shrugged and said "it's fathers day, so they were perfect and loving to daddy this morning but no so much for mommy". It happens :).
We got home from church, had some delicious ribeyes for lunch that David grilled for us (is it terrible to have him grill his own Fathers Day lunch?) and then all took a nap! :) Much needed. After we all got up, we decided to head down and explore the Riverwalk near downtown. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but didn't know much about it because it's not super close by. A friend had just taken her kids recently and gave me the scoop on it, so I was excited to check it out. We packed a picnic lunch, threw our rollerblades and scooters in the car, and headed down.
We loved it! Got there a little after 5 pm probably, walked/scootered/rollerbladed around the path that follows the river for a while, and then stopped to play around these rocks in the river for a bit. The kids and David had all worn their swim suits, so it was GREAT fun!
My kids LOVE these random cut-out pictures, so we stopped to take some raccoon pictures as we were walking around the lake some more...
After walking a bit more, we found a place to sit down and have our picnic dinner that I had packed and we enjoyed some peace and quiet...just watching the river, looking at all that God had created, being NICE to each other - it was great! :)
We found another spot by the bridge where the kids could go a bit deeper and actually swim a bit with David. Not at all appealing to me, but they were SO excited. I was perfectly happy to take some pictures and sit on the bench!
Callie initially wanted to go out there with the boys. She had refused to wear her bathing suit, but then of course when we got there, totally wanted to get all wet with the other kids (which I knew she would!). I said that was fine, and out she headed with David and the boys.
This picture is of Callie SCREAMING while David brought her back to the shore. She got totally freaked out there - not sure why, but totally flipped and so David brought her back to shore to sit with me. Caleb went back out with David for a bit :)
After a while she decided she was okay to go back out and we switched again - I took Caleb and David held Callie (who clung to him for dear life...but no more screaming at least!) The big boys TOTALLY loved it!!!
Me and my sweet boy Caleb - see - I was there!!!
I am SO blessed to have married this incredible man who is the BEST dad!!!
We really had a great time together. After the morning started so rough, it was just what we needed as a family. I knew we were going to unplug for an undetermined amount of time to work on some character and heart issues, and the evening cemented that for me. We just loved walking around, talking, playing 20 questions, it did my heart good. We came home, David and the kids bathed quickly while I finished putting our special dessert for Daddy together....
Steak and french fries!! :)
(Not really, it was chocolate ice cream shaped like steaks with grill marks carved in it that were filled with crushed oreo cookies, then pound cake that was cut with a crinkle cutter and toasted to look like french fries, and served with strawberry jam "ketchup". Everyone loved it - especially since we had just had real steaks for lunch! :)
Happy Father's Day David. I am so thankful to have such a godly, patient, fun, steadfast husband who loves me and the kids wholeheartedly, and yet seeks after the Lord first and foremost in order to lead our family!!! We love you!!!