Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer So Far!

My oh my, I have a lot of catching up to do! We have been super busy with summer fun around here. I have lots of pictures to share, and some of them even go back into May.

Disclaimer: These pictures are in random order. They will stay that way because ain't nobody got time for that.

A bunch of my family went to Emilee's wedding. Emilee is Megan's friend, but we all love her.
The kids and I made our annual trek to Greensboro to visit my cousin Krista. We made the kids pose for the annual "look how we've grown" picture.

We celebrated Father's Day and went to lots of Believer's Church softball games.

We've had some friends come swim with us.

We headed down to Pigeon Forge for the day where the kids had their first experience at Gatti's. (When did they drop the Mr.?)

We also had some fun riding go karts.

There was a picnic in the park on a different day.

We had a fun day at the Aquatic Center nearby.

A quick little trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

Our family girls got together as usual to watch Miss USA. We have a fierce competition as the show moves along where we try to guess who will be in the Top 10, the winner, etc. I am proud to say that I picked Miss Nevada as my first impression, and she won! So I won our little competition.

I have been to the dentist way more times than I care to remember in the last few months. Two root canals, two crowns, and a filling later, and I'm ALMOST fixed. It has not been fun. And definitely not cheap!

Parker got to celebrate his birthday with friends at the pool.

The student ministry at church had a lake get together that was a lot of fun.

Parker's birthday sleepover was exciting with all those boys.

Last Day of School pictures!


More last day of school pictures (I told you the pictures were out of order)!

Colin graduated!

Claire did an awesome performance in her classroom that went with a book she read.

Parker & Claire both had straight As this year! Yay!

I'm sure I've missed some things, but this will do for now to get me caught up a little bit. Hope you're having a great summer!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

We had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. We enjoyed spending some time with Nana and Grandma. The kids made me several special gifts and cards. Brian and the kids also ordered a porch swing for me. I can't wait for it to get here! 

I am so thankful for my precious babies! I love being their mother!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy 11th Birthday Parker!

Where has the time gone? This little guy is 11 years old! We had a special dinner at home to celebrate on Parker's actual birthday. He requested poppyseed chicken, macaroni & cheese, and oreo extravaganza.

We love you Parker and are so blessed to have you!
Parker's Birthday Interview
1. What is your favorite color? green
2. Who is your best friend? Colton
3. What is your favorite thing to do? play Minecraft and iPad
4. What is your favorite food? poppyseed chicken
5. What do you like to do with your family? go on trips
6. What is your favorite toy? iPad
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? rapper
8. What makes you happy? playing Minecraft and going on trips
9. What makes you sad? when you take the iPad away (I see a pattern here...)
10. What is your favorite show to watch? Sam and Cat
11. What is your favorite book? Arkham Unhinged, Minecraft books
12. What do you love to learn about? Minecraft, sea animals, Jesus
13. Where do you like to go? Myrtle Beach, Disney World, Wallabies, Nana's house , Grandma & Granddad's house
14. What do you think about before you fall asleep? scenes from shows
15. If you could meet someone famous who would it be? Macklemore
16. What is something you are really good at? Minecraft, swimming
17. What is something new you'd like to try? wrestling
18. What is your favorite song to sing? Thrift Shop
19. What is your favorite movie? Despicable Me 2
20. What game do you like to play? Minecraft (of course), Hide & Seek Tag, Capture the Flag

Sunday, May 11, 2014

And Then Monday Came...

It was Mother's Day, and the weather was gorgeous. Just like today, it was May 11, but my life was about to change. Forever. 

Eleven years ago. It was 2003, but feels like yesterday. My skin was stretched farther and tighter than I ever dreamed possible. I hadn't slept through the night in months. Even my maternity clothes were getting snug. I was two whole days overdue and feeling every second of it.

As much as I couldn't wait to meet my baby boy in person, I knew I would miss feeling those strong kicks and seeing my belly roll from side to side. Brand new life was growing inside me, and I couldn't get over the miracle of it all.

So I went to church on that beautiful day wondering every other minute if this could be the moment when it all would begin. It was technically my first Mother's Day, and I treasured it. The day moved on, and it became clear that he wasn't planning to make his appearance into the world on that special Sunday.

But then Monday came...

Friday, May 9, 2014

In Ways That Matter

I never heard those words. Never ever. Not in my whole entire life. Want to know which words I'm talking about?

"You look just like your mother."

There they are. The words I've never heard spoken to me. And it's true. I don't have her eyes, or her nose, or her hair, or even her skin. I honestly don't resemble her at all, unless you count our wide, flat bottoms. I definitely got that from her. (Sorry, Mama. We both know it's true.) The list of ways we are different is way longer than the list if ways we are alike.

In fact, I look very much like my Daddy on the outside. Truth be told, I probably have way more of his personality traits as well. I'm ok with that because he was very handsome, more kind and patient than I'll ever be, and hilarious. 

But even though there's not much hope for me to start looking like my mom on the outside, she has so many beautiful qualities that I long to have. There are some ways that I really want to look like her. 

My mother loves her family fiercely. I don't mean just a little. Or even a lot. I mean fiercely. Besides Jesus, there is nothing or no one she loves more than her people. She is completely dedicated and selfless. If we need her, any one of us, she drops whatever she's doing that instant. No hesitation. I want to love like that.

My mother has more faith than anyone I know. Her trust in Jesus never waivers. Life hasn't always been a walk in the park, but she has never stopped believing that God is in control in every situation. She has praised Him through every storm. I want to trust like that.

My mother doesn't spend much time worrying what other people think. She learned a long time ago that she only needs to focus on pleasing Jesus. People aren't always going to like you. I want to be wise like that. (Oh man, do I need to work on this one.)

My mother knows which things are worth getting upset over. She's taught me how to know when something is a big deal and when it isn't. When I look back through the years, I remember her telling me, "You'll see when you get older. None of this really matters". You know what? She was right. I want to be discerning like that.

There are so many other ways that I want to be like my mom. I could go on and on. There are big, life things that I still need to learn from her, and maybe even a few seemingly insignificant things (gravy making for starters).  So I pray for many more years with her on this earth. I definitely have a lot left to learn.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll start to look like her a little bit more in ways that really matter. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Orlando & Clearwater Beach

After our day in Savannah and Tybee Island, we went to Orlando for four days. We stayed at Orange Lake Resort (which is where we usually stay when we go to Orlando). The resort is very nice with lots to do on the property.

I kept trying to get a picture of the kids shooting out of this slide in River Island, but it just happens too fast!
We also spent a lot of time at this pool in the North Village. Even though the slide was smaller, the kids loved it because they could go down it backwards, sideways, whatever!

We love the pina coladas at Orange Lake. We had a bunch of them while we were there.

Karaoke was a big hit two different nights. Parker and Claire even convinced Brian to sing!

The view from our screened in porch. So pretty!

Another one!

We went to Downtown Disney one night and ate at Rainforest Café. It's always a fun experience even though the food is just average (and VERY EXPENSIVE).

We also went and toured the Grand Floridian hotel. It was really beautiful. We even got on the monorail and rode around through some other Disney properties. We even got to see the castle!

On a different day, we went to Typhoon Lagoon water park. We have been there once before, and it was even more fun this time. The weather was perfect, the lines were short, and everybody was finally tall enough to ride everything. So fun!

More karaoke!

At dinner one night...totally exhausted!

At the end of the week, we went to Clearwater Beach for a couple of days.

We stayed at Sheraton Sand Key Resort. It was our first visit to Clearwater Beach. We enjoyed exploring a new beach town. We liked it pretty well, but we were a little disappointed in the ocean water. I think we just had our expectations a little too high. It was pretty, but not much different from what we are used to seeing.

Brian really wanted some good seafood while we were there. We asked around and kept hearing about a place called Crabby Bill's. Even though we were skeptical, we decided to give it a try. You guys...sooooooo good.

I had coconut shrimp and Brian had a grouper sandwich and grilled shrimp. He also had she crab soup that was gone before I got a chance to take a picture. It was all so fresh and really delicious.

We told the kids this pirate ship was coming to pick them up.

We even tried the pina coladas in Clearwater. Pretty good, but not the same as Orange Lake.

The hotel had a meet and greet with the actor who played Sawyer from the movie Dolphin Tale.

The night before we left, we went downtown to the pier area. There was a gorgeous sunset!

The whole trip was so much fun. We made some great memories and really had fun just spending time together! We are very blessed!