Monday, April 14, 2014

Wedding Weekend

We had such a fun (and exhausting) weekend celebrating the wedding of a very special couple.  When we moved to Hendersonville and started at our church, Lindsay was a senior in our youth group.  The youth group was very small at that point so we got to know those kids really well.  Lindsay loved my children from the start and they loved her.  In fact, she was the first non-family babysitter we ever had and at that time Will screamed his head off when I left him was dealing with some separation anxiety so it was not easy for me to leave him and I'm sure it was not easy on Lindsay.  Although we were devastated when she left for college we still saw her often and maintained a close relationship (and her younger sister became our babysitter).  She started dating Ryan and they both helped with multiple youth events over the years.  I have always been so impressed by their relationship and how focused they both are on their relationships with God. When Lindsay and Ryan got engaged, she asked Josh to officiate the wedding, Isabel to be her flower girl and Will to be her ring bearer.  We were so excited to be a part of this sweet couple's special day!

It is impossible to know what to expect of your children in certain situations and this was definitely one of those times.  I have to say that I was ridiculously proud of both kids throughout the entire weekend.  Friday we checked Isabel out of school a little early to get to the rehearsal in time.  Both kids followed directions perfectly the entire time.  I was a little concerned when I found out that 1) Will would actually be holding the real rings and 2) that both kids would stand in the front throughout the wedding.  However, they acted like little wedding pros and did everything right! :)

ready to rehearse!

Will standing on a rock so he could be taller than Isabel

The day of the wedding started with a morning soccer game in which Will's team was amazing and we think Will scored 2 goals. (yes, I said think.  Have you ever seen a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds play soccer?  It is pretty impossible to tell who actually kicked the ball into the goal).  Then we headed to the wedding.  Both kids looked precious and handled the waiting and pictures really well.  The wedding was absolutely beautiful!  It was so simple but so creative, classy and fun.  It fitted the couple perfectly!  Josh did a great job as well.  He was able to make the stressed couple laugh throughout the day as well as during the service.  I love listening to him talk about marriage and what the Bible says about how husbands and wives should love each other.  Lindsay and Ryan wrote their own vows and they were perfect.  They were endearing, funny, sentimental and summed up their relationship perfectly!  It was a perfect wedding!

My beautiful flower girl just looked way too grown up

So proud of these two!

Did I mention the wedding was outside and that there were bees EVERYWHERE?  Just another thing my kids handled flawlessly.  During the ceremony a bee was buzzing around Isabel's head but she just stood very still and looked at me with big eyes and luckily it flew away.

Isabel with the beautiful bride!
(Isabel loves to say they are both redheads)
(no Isabel's hair is not really red but she does have a lot of red in it so she declares it red)

Isabel with the sister of the bride (who is also our fabulous babysitter)

loved this!

be still my heart.... I love this little man

This was about 30 seconds after the wedding was over.  He just couldn't be still any longer and started running around in circles.  His shirt was untucked about a minute later. 

always willing to pose for a picture

These doors were set up outside and closed until time for the bride to walk down the aisle 

Josh looking so handsome in his suit trying to restrain these 2 crazy kids

Family picture

After the wedding was over Will ran around for a while and then found a huge stick that he used to hit the trees with.  Have I mentioned lately that he is ALL BOY?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Soccer Star

It is soccer time!!  Will is playing upwards soccer this year and I think he is going to love it.  He has been looking forward to it for months.  He had his first practice last night and then his first game this morning.  Unfortunately after a week of 70 degree days, Saturday morning was quite a bit colder but we survived and are hoping the rest of the season is much warmer!

Practice went really well last night.  Will did a great job staying focused (not always an easy task for this age group) and was great at kicking the ball down field.  The game, however, was a little more difficult.  The other team had some definite star players who must have played multiple times in the past.  They scored a ton of goals a few more times than us but the kids still had a lot of fun and didn't get too discouraged.  Will got an award for effort at the end of the game and we were proud of how hard he tried.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Break 2014

We were all so ready for spring break this year!  We all needed a break from school and the strict, crazy schedule that comes with it.  Plus our new pastor decided to close the church office for the week so Josh got the whole week off as well.  Perfect!  We decided that a relaxing trip to Birmingham would be a nice way to spend the week.  We spent time with family, went to the children's science center, played at Samford and just enjoyed time together.  Plus Josh and I spent a day in Atlanta shopping at Ikea and having dinner with some of our best friends from college that we never get to see.  It was wonderful!

Avery was at her other grandparents that week but Isabel and Will had so much fun playing with Ansley and Addy.  Isabel loves being the oldest cousin.  She constantly wanted to take care of Addy and the highlight of her week was getting to feed Addy one night!

Will loves his cousins too but it is hard to be the only boy sometimes.  He loves when he gets to be the only one to hang out with the "big boys" (Josh and Matt)

wrestling with Will

Loving the McWane Center!

sweet cousins

Samford will always be one of my favorite places!  It is so beautiful and we have so many special memories of this place.  I love taking our children there and watching them enjoy it too!

Ha! This picture makes me laugh every time!

We definitely enjoyed our break.  Now the count down 'til summer begins!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Back to the zoo

What better way to celebrate the start of spring break than spending a beautiful day at the zoo?  It wasn't quite as warm as it had been earlier that week but warm enough!  We had not been to our zoo in so long so it was nice to be back.  I realized as we were getting ready to go that it was our first trip to the zoo in 7 years without a stroller.  Our kids are officially old enough to walk the whole time (and they didn't even complain about it).  Every time I realize how old our kids are getting I am sad and thankful that life is easier at the same time.

These kids love their maps! Well, Will liked looking at it for the first 5 minutes, but then climbing on the fences to see the animals was way more fun.  Isabel kept up with her map the entire time and constantly updated us on which animals were up  next!

We have always loved the gibbons!  They put on quite a show this time too swinging from tree to tree!

My beautiful girl.  When did she get so grown up?

Our zoo added some kangaroos since we were there last.  They were fun to get to see!

This boy is all about his daddy these days.  He wants to be just like Josh, which I am so thankful for!

When we were at the Birmingham Zoo last October Will LOVED the huge tortoises.  He was so excited that our zoo now has 2 as well.  

I'm pretty sure Will brushed and petted every single animal he saw in the "critter encounter."  He loved every second of it!

Isabel was not really interested in touching any animal at first but she eventually decided to brush a little goat and then even started feeding one!

The giraffes didn't come very close to us this time but there was a new baby giraffe that was fun to see!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

D Now weekend 2014

This past weekend was disciple now weekend for the youth at our church. As always Josh put in tons of time and effort and it showed. We had almost 40 kids take part in the weekend (and can I add that about 10 of those registered sometime in the 3 days before it started and 2 simply showed up without ever registering. Gotta love teenagers). Regardless it was a great weekend and I'm thankful my mom came to stay with Isabel and Will so I could spend most of my time with this group.  The kids had a great time but it was obvious that God was working in them at the same time.

I led a small group with six 8th grade girls and I LOVED it.  We discussed temptations, lying, cheating, words, being selfish, relationship with parents and so much more.  These girls are super amazing and I'm hoping that Isabel is as strong in her faith as these girls seem to be and that she is surrounded by Christian friends like they are.  
(yes these are both terrible phone pictures but you get the idea)

One of my favorite things about these weekends is being able to watch Josh around these students.  He is able to be responsible and organized while also being approachable and fun. That may sound simple but it is actually a ridiculously difficult thing to accomplish with teenagers. These kids respect him and have fun with him but are also able to trust him completely and know they can go to to him with any problem or question (and do regularly).  He always seems to know the perfect thing to say to them. God has definitely given him the exact spiritual gifts needed to minister to these students.  Our entire church talks regularly about how thankful they are for Josh but it is after weekends like this that I am reminded why.

I wanted to add a link to his most recent blog post because I loved it and assume others need to read this as much as I did. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Instagram catch-up

Since it has been almost a month with  no post, I decided that anything is better than nothing...right?  The update will have to come through instagram pictures since apparently I only take pictures with my phone these days.

We have had a lot of snow days in the past month. There was very little snow on the ground for most of these snow days because the northern part of our county gets way more snow than we do.  Anyway, this day Isabel decided no school meant dressing like a princess for the day!

In between the snow days, we have actually had some days with amazing weather (only in the South can it be in the 30s and the 60s in the same week).  Disc golf has become a new favorite activity.  Some of the students got Josh hooked and he quickly shared this obsession with Will.  Isabel and I have decided that it can be pretty fun too.

Sometimes Isabel and I just swing while the boys are playing.

We have also passed around a stomach virus. Josh started the "fun" so I took Isabel and Will for a fun morning building and painting at Home Depot.

Little man had his picture day at school last week.  I'm never quite sure what the kids should wear for "Spring" pictures when the day before was a snow day.  Anyway, I think he looked pretty handsome but don't tell him that. To Will, handsome means fancy and it is NOT a compliment to be fancy.  Every Sunday I hear "Why do I have to be so handsome all the time? Some of the other boys in my class don't have to." (By the way, "dressing up" for church usually means jeans and a button down shirt).  The morning of his pictures he said, "Why do I have to be so handsome today?  It's not even Sunday!!"  He is such a boy!!