Sunday, October 9, 2016

1st day of school 2016

Our fun-filled summer flew by and all of the sudden it was time to start school again.  This would be the first time Isabel and Will would not be at the same school.  Isabel was starting 4th grade at the intermediate school and was a little anxious about those changes.  A new school, new teachers and lots of new people (because 2 elementary schools combined)! At her registration, a few days before school started, we found out her teacher and were told that she is one of the best.  Her class will also go to 2 other teachers and we were told they were fantastic too so we were so excited.  Although she only knew one girl in her (a little girl from church), her best friend is in one of the classes she switches with and they will do lots together.

Will started 2nd grade at OMES.  He was super excited because his teacher is Isabel's beloved Mrs. Smith.  Isabel was excited for him but also a little jealous.  Will didn't know a lot of kids in his class but knew he would make friends fast and was excited about starting school.

At meet the teacher, Isabel ran to give Mrs. Smith a hug before Will could even get there.

First day of 4th and 2nd Grade

Fortunately both kids had a great first day of school.  They love their teachers and have already made so many new friends.  I'm figuring out how to do carpool at two schools and love still getting to be involved in their classes.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Isabel and Will's baptism

Since before our children were born, Josh and I have prayed that they would come to know Jesus early, but not too early.  I have heard so many stories from teenagers who became Christians as very young children and then doubted their salvation once they got older.  I didn't want to pressure my kids into making a decision just because their dad is a minister and they know all the answers and are in church every time it is open (and sometimes when it is not).  So as we have had many conversations about what it means to follow Jesus with your whole life, I have never asked them if they wanted to be Christians.  I have always prayed that the Holy Spirit would work in their lives and that they would come to us wanting to make this decision.  God is so good and answered my prayer this summer.

At VBS this year they talked a lot about people in the bible who knew all the answers about God but how you still have to make the decision to follow God for the rest of your life and make Jesus the boss of your life.  Isabel filled out a card saying she wanted to talk to someone about being a Christian.  A few days later the card came in the mail and Isabel was explaining what it was to Will because it was only for 3rd graders and up.  As she was explaining Will looked at me and said "oh yeah, I've been meaning to talk to you about all that.  I'm ready."  Before I could even form words to respond Isabel said, "yeah I've been waiting for that card to come in the mail so you would ask me about it. I'm ready too."   Trying not to cry, I talked with them both a little more and then told them that we would wait for Josh to get home from Guatemala.  A few days after he got home, Will refused to go to sleep until we talked about it.  Josh asked him a lot of questions just to make sure he really understood what he was doing.  After praying with him we walked into Isabel's room who asked what we were doing with Will.  When I told her she wanted to do it that night too.  It was an incredible night full of answered prayers.

On August 7, 2016 both kids were baptized by their daddy.  Isabel had been terrified of baptism for years but the fear was completely gone after she made the decision to follow Jesus.  She was beyond excited about being baptized and she and Will counted down the days.  It was such a special moment with so many of our family and friends standing there with us.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Valleydale Beach Camp 2016

The kids and I joined Josh and about 80 teenagers for beach camp in Daytona this year. I knew Isabel and Will would love the worship and the beach but I was not sure how they would handle the 10+ hour drive. After much thought and discussion we decided to ride with the group in the charter buses even though they were leaving at 4AM!! 

They did WAY better on the bus than I ever imagined. They watched movies (the teenagers were nice enough to pick movies Iz and Will could watch too), did stickers, played on phones and kindles way more than I've ever allowed in one day, and even used the bus bathroom!

Once we finally got to Daytona, got everyone checked in to the hotel and ate some pizza the students headed to the first session but we headed to the pool. I knew I couldn't expect them to sit still any longer. Plus an early bedtime was needed since we had been up since 4am!

The view from our room was beautiful. All of our rooms were on one hallway in the hotel. One side faced the ocean and the other faced the street. We walked in our room to see the view and the kids were devastated to see that ours faced the street. Luckily a sweet chaperone and her girls insisted that we switch rooms with them so Isabel and Will could have their ocean view! 

Each morning started with squad wars. Their were 4 groups and the kids had crazy cheers and played crazy games. Isabel and Will loved watching it! Then we would stay for worship and a quick talk. 

After lunch each day we all went to the beach and pool. There was a long area of the beach with very shallow water that Will loved playing in. The riptide was very strong so we didn't get in much further. 

One afternoon when the riptide was especially bad, almost our entire group ended up in the same pool. They decided to throw/flip everyone! Isabel and Will refused to be flipped but we all watched. It was hilarious. The students gave Josh no choice and did end up throwing him!

Isabel and Will loved Chris Tomlin leading worship the most!
Depending on how close we sat, I usually made them wear earplugs and even headphones one night! It was LOUD!

The kids and I went to the worship each night but left before the speaker. We usually got ice cream or donuts from the stores across the street and walked on the beach some before going to sleep!

No one was ready to leave! I know these are memories that Isabel and Will will have forever!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lake Day

One of the sweet families at our church had a few of the 9th grade girls over to their lake house and invited us too. Although we basically lived on a lake for 5 years in Hendersonville, Isabel and Will and never gone on a boatride. They were a little hesitant at first but quickly decided they loves it! Their favorite part was watching the teenagers tubing!

           Swimming in the lake!

                   Sweet girls!!

July 4th

We had another fun and hot July 4th this year! Lots of family came to celebrate with us hamburgers off the grill and some fireworks!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Orleans mission trip

This year Josh and I decided that we didn't want to be apart all summer again and our kids were old enough to go on some trips with the students. Our first trip to go on was the HS mission trip to New Orleans. I was nervous about a lot of things but my kids were amazing and the teenagers on the trip were so sweet to include us all. It was a great experience. 

We all stayed at the New Orleans baptist seminary. The students stayed in dorms and Josh was able to stay with the kids and me in a hotel type room also at the seminary. It worked out really well. 

We spent every morning doing a backyard bible club for a very low income area. We just set up in the median in the neighborhood and went door to door inviting kids to come. We had so many kids come each day to play, do crafts, sing, and hear a Bible story. Isabel and Will were great helpers with the younger kids that came. 

This little guy wanted to be held by me most of the day everyday. I can't say I minded all that much (even if it was a million degrees!!)

Somehow Isabel became in charge of this little girl, Day, for the week. Day was a mess so it was not an easy job but Isabel was so great with her. I loved watching her love on this little girl and try to teach her about Jesus. 

We all went to the French Quarter one night. I can't say I really liked being in that area too much but it was definitely an experience. 


One afternoon Josh and the students went to a boys home and Josh and I decided that the kids and I should not join them. Instead Isabel, Will and I spent the afternoon at a children's museum and had a great time.