Sunday, March 29, 2015

Go Red Sox

It's baseball time of year again for Will!  He was so sad when upwards basketball was over but luckily for him, there was only about a week before baseball started!  This year his team is the Boston Red Sox!  The season has started out with a lot of rain!  All but two practices were rained out before the first game but that didn't keep these boys from being super excited to play.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Feed the children

Last week was world reach week at church. Obviously it was our first experience with world reach but it was Valleydale's 10th year of doing it. It was such an incredible week. One of the things I love about our church is the emphasis placed on missions. During world teach we celebrate this focus by bringing in the many missionaries from all over the world that we support. It was so great to hear from them and be challenged to think about how I am spending my life. 

One of my favorite parts of the week was the Feeding Children Everywhere night.  An incredible number of people came together to pack over 110,000 meals that will be sent to starving children in North Korea. The best part is that my kids got to be involved. They worked hard the whole time with very little complaining and I was so proud of them. I pray that God is working in their lives and giving them a heart to serve others!

       Training before we started

Isabel was not sure about wearing the hair net at first. My 8 year old was worried everyone would think she looked "silly."

         Hard working little man!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Moving day!

God is good! After 7 LOOONNNGGG months of waiting and praying and waiting and praying, our house in TN sold and we were able to move into our new house here in Alabama.  I cannot even begin to tell you the relief and excitement that we feel to finally be able to truly get settled here.

I wish that I could say I was calm and patient and peacefully waited on God the whole 7 months but the truth is that I got pretty impatient and frustrated plenty of times.  However I know that God is good.  I know that He was with us and that it could have been so. much. worse!  We could have been separated with Josh in AL and the kids in and I in TN.  We could have been trying to pay rent and pay our mortgage which would have been impossible for so long.  I'm so thankful that my wonderful mom basically let us take over her house for months.  I'm thankful that we were able to get the kids registered in the school the house we wanted to buy was zoned for, even though we were not living in zone while at my mom's house.  I'm thankful that because our house didn't sell, we were able to make multiple trips back to Hendersonville to visit our friends there.  I'm even thankful that God let the gas prices fall lower than they have been in so long when Josh and I were both having to get gas at least twice as often since we were having to drive further than usual.  I'm also ridiculously thankful that God kept the house we wanted to buy for us for seven months!  I know that doesn't just happen without God.  It is such a great house in the perfect location!  Like I said, God is good!

As excited as we were to finally be moving into our house, it was still a stressful and emotional time for all of us.  It had been a crazy month leading up to the move with disciple now weekend, Josh officiating his cousin's wedding one weekend in St. Louis, a trip to Hendersonville to pack and then crazy snow and ice in Hendersonville that kept us from making extra trips.  There was also tons of paperwork, inspections and trying to get things fixed from a state away.  The kids were excited one moment and then crying the next.  Even though we had moved months ago, this made it permanent and that made it hard on all of us.  Fortunately our kids are amazing and we all survived days of packing, saying goodbye to friends, trucks loading (and getting stuck in our grass!!), closings and then unloading!

    sooooooo many boxes!!  How do we have this much stuff?

                     These two were such troopers all weekend!

   When there is no food or furniture in your house, you have a picnic from sonic on the floor while the movers keep loading the truck!

We are so incredibly happy to be in our new home and excited to see what God has planned for us!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Southern Snow

We don't get a lot of snow in the south.  We got a little in Hendersonville but they get even less here in Birmingham (except for a snowpocolypse every once in a while).  Therefore, the city basically shuts down if there is even the possibility of ice or snow.  Over the past week or two, the kids have had multiple late openings and 2 days off of school because of "snow".  However, there has been very little snow.

Last Wednesday we waited all. day. long. for the promised snow.  Nothing happened until the kids were ready for bed.  All of the sudden there were beautiful big flakes falling down.  I knew it wouldn't last long so we threw coats on over the kids pajamas and played out in the snow for a while.

throwing snow balls

there was more snow on the car than anywhere else

Will's "snow castle"

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

AirWalk Party

After going to AirWalk with the students at church about a month ago, Isabel was sure she needed to have her birthday party there.  She counted down the days until this party for weeks and could not wait for it to get here.  I got a little worried when she got a stomach virus a few days before the party and then there was a chance of ice the morning of the party.  Luckily she was feeling much better and we only had rain so it was time to party!

My beautiful girl and her fairy cake

She's super excited!

Will was excited about her party too

Isabel and her friend, Grayson from school

no one is surprised that Will found a ball to play with while jumping 

ready to jump in the foam pit

Isabel and her sweet friend, Mia

cute kids

getting out of the foam pit is the hardest part!

blowing out her candles!

Isabel and Katie are ready for cake!

crazy kids!

Such a fun party for my 8 year old!!

Happy 8th Birthday Isabel!

Somehow this sweet baby girl that gave me the name "mommy" turned 8 last week.  As I dropped her off at school that morning, I started thinking about life with her and Will about 5 years ago.  It was hard.  She was turning 3 and I was praying that the terrible 2s were behind us.  As much as I loved her and as cute as she was, that girl could make me angrier and more frustrated than anyone else on the planet.  She hated going to sleep, could be completely irrational about what and how she wanted things to happen and could throw a serious tantrum.  Trying to parent her showed me my own selfishness, impatience, fear and need for God in every area of my life.

Over the past 5 years she has grown so much and I could not be more proud of who she is today.  Isabel is sweet and kind to those around her.  She is a rule follower and a leader.  Isabel is still a very picky eater and can be quite stubborn when asked to try something new.  She is smart and quick to learn.  Her memory is amazing.  While she is quiet and shy around those she doesn't know well, she is silly and crazy and loud when she is comfortable.  She is well liked by the kids in her class and her teachers as well.  She loves cheer leading, writing stories, playing barbies, and making cartoons on the computer.   Isabel is an introvert and her favorite kind of night is ordering a pizza and watching a movie at home.

Isabel celebrated her birthday multiple times.  Because Josh's big discipleship weekend for the students at church was the weekend of her birthday, our family celebrated a day early with dinner and milkshakes.  She got to open some of her presents that night and was super excited about everything but her favorite was definitely the barbie dream house!

She got to celebrate with her friends at school the next day on her birthday and Josh had lunch with her.  Then she got to have her favorite kind of night, pizza and a movie at home!  Then she just had to wait a Looooonnnngg week before it was time for her party!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Square dancing

One thing Isabel had to get used to in Alabama schools is having PE every day. She was not excited about that at first but thanks to 2 awesome PE teachers, she really likes it most days. 

She was beyond excited when they started learning square dancing for a few weeks. That is definitely her kind of PE. After weeks of practice, the kids dressed up in their best western wear and did a small program for the parents to show off all they learned. It was so cute!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Time for braces??

Since Isabel was 3, every dentist we have been too has warned me that braces will be in our near future. She has a small mouth and there wasn't enough space for her baby teeth. When those big permanent teeth started coming in, the problem obviously got worse. Add a crossbite to the spacing issues and it was time to see an orthodontist. She seems so you but 2 girls in her class have already had braces for months!

Last week we went for a consultation and the orthodontist agreed with all the other dentists had said. However he needed a little more information so he encouraged us to get impressions of Isabel's mouth. I knew immediately that this would not go well. Apparently thanks to the genes from Josh's side of the family, Isabel has the most sensitive gag reflex ever! No one likes those impressions and Isabel definitely agreed!  She did so great though. The orthodontist took so much time to give Isabel some tips to make it better and they were all so patient with her! Now we go back soon to get the verdict of what needs to be done! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spring day in January

Monday was Martin Luther King day so the kids had the day off of school.  It also happened to be a perfectly sunny day with the high in the upper 60s.  Not usual for January but it was a nice break from the cold grey weather we had been having.  We had lunch with friends at Chick-fil-a and then enjoyed a few hours at the zoo.  It was a great day!  I love days when there is no school!

                   Love these kids!

Being flamingos 

sweet, beautiful girls who look way too old in this picture!

the giraffes put on a show for us this time

Friday, January 16, 2015

bye bye baby teeth

Last week Will lost one of his top front teeth.  As much as I wanted to share in his excitement, I was actually a little devastated.  I learned from Isabel that once those top teeth are gone, their sweet baby faces suddenly look very different and way older.  I was not ready for my baby to have a "big kid smile."  His top tooth had actually been loose for a while but I had basically forbidden him to wiggle it (and told Josh that he was absolutely not allowed to pull it!)  Maybe not my most rational parenting but I just wanted that baby tooth smile as long as possible.  Isabel didn't lose her top teeth until the summer before 1st grade so I thought I had a while!

Then one day after school he jumped in the van with a huge snaggle-tooth smile and a plastic tooth hanging around his neck.  He was beaming while Isabel screamed "Will lost his tooth" over and over.  As much as I wanted to cry, I had to smile.  He was beyond excited!  In case you didn't know, losing a tooth at school and getting to wear it around your neck all day in a tooth necklace is a pretty huge deal!  Apparently the tooth was so loose that it actually just fell out of his mouth.  It didn't even bleed at all!  I guess he kept it in as long as possible just for me. Time for me to face the fact that my baby boy is growing up.

To make things worse, I am taking Isabel to the orthodontist next week for a consultation about braces!!  I swear these kids were just cutting their baby teeth a few months ago!

Isabel's first day of 1st grade with her snaggle-tooth smile!