Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Adventures...

The past few weeks have been pretty bittersweet for our family.  Josh has accepted a job as the student pastor of Valleydale Church in Birmingham.  We are so excited about this job, this church and being close to family in Birmingham again. Josh and I have prayed over this decision and know that God has given us this amazing opportunity and we want to follow His will for our lives.  However, saying goodbye to our friends family in Hendersonville is harder than I ever imagined.

We moved to Hendersonville almost 6 years ago.  Isabel was 20 months old...


                      and I was 33 weeks pregnant with Will!


The people at our new church immediately took us in and loved us.  People that didn't even know us threw me a baby shower and brought us meals for weeks after Will was born.  As hard as it was to live hours away from our family, God continued to bring people into our lives to encourage us, help us, do life with us and be our family here in Hendersonville.  He provided us with family friends and a small group for both Josh and me that impacted our lives in more ways than we ever could explain. We had the privilege of being a part of the lives of so many incredible teenagers and watched them grow and mature.  My babies grew up in this town. They went to school for the first time, danced, played sports, and made sweet friends.  At Bluegrass Baptist Church they were spoiled loved on, taught about God, learned to love Jesus and learned to love church.  I will always be thankful that God brought us to this city and for the years we were allowed to serve in this church.

And now I am thankful for the opportunity to go "home" and serve in another amazing church.  I am excited about the new families we will meet and the new teenagers we get to invest in.  I'm excited about getting to see God use Josh in the lives of these new students.  I'm thankful that we will be close to family and friends in Birmingham again.  I am ridiculously thankful for social media so we can stay connected to our friends in Hendersonville.  More than anything, I'm thankful that I serve a God that loves me and my family more than I can imagine.  I'm thankful that He has an amazing plan for our lives and that I can simply trust him and follow his direction.  I'm thankful for the peace that comes from following God even while your heart is hurting because saying goodbye is never easy.

Please pray for our family during this transition.  Pray our house sells quickly and that we find a house in Birmingham that we love.  Pray we can get settled before BOTH of my babies start school.  Pray for us as we say goodbye to those we love and pray new friendships are formed quickly. Isabel and Will are super excited about moving close to grandparents but having a hard time saying goodbye to their friends.  Pray for Josh's new ministry at Valleydale and that God will provide a new person to invest in the students at BBC.  Pray we will continue to seek God's wisdom and direction in all we do.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy July 4th

After an exhausting July 3rd, we relaxed a little on July 4th and then headed to a BBQ at our good friends' house.  It was the perfect evening of great food, amazing fireworks and some of our best friends.  Thankful for our freedoms, my family and good friends!


The boys played a million games of soccer.  It's hard to wait for it to get dark!

Such sweet friends

such crazy girls!!

love my beautiful girl

She spends a lot of time upside down these days

Couldn't be any cuter....

but they are trouble!!!

the dads were involved in a pretty serious soccer game against the little boys

Apparently running through the smoke bombs is so much fun!

We tried to get a group picture.......

They may have down about 50 sparklers each this year!


I love this picture of these girls being silly with their glow bracelets 

Like I said, they did a lot of fireworks

Sweet boys sharing a seat watching the amazing fireworks show the neighbors put on

**Funny Story: On the way to our friends' house, the song "I'm Proud to be an American" came on and I told the kids to listen.  They both listen for a minute and then Isabel says, "Minnesota? What's a Minnesota?"  Oh gosh. After explaining it was a state we listened some more.  After the line "the men who died to give this right to me.." Isabel says, "what? died? Who died??"  Will looks at her like she is crazy and says, "Jesus! Jesus died!"  So maybe we are not doing so well on teaching patriotism but at least they know Jesus died for them (and America too??)

Happy July 3rd!

We started off our Independence Day celebration on July 3rd with our town's annual Freedom Festival.  It's hard to believe we have been celebrating at the same park for the past 6 years!  Like last year, our church volunteered to help work the inflatable kid zone.  It was complete chaos.  The kids and I played for a while and then we helped too.  The inflatables closed down just in time for us to grab a shaved ice and watch the fireworks.  It was a fun family night!

Willing to pose for a second before running to the inflatables

the big slide is always their favorite


Fun family photo!

 picnic dinner

Watching the fireworks from her daddy's lap.  This year we were closer than we have ever been to where the fireworks were actually shot off so that means they were bigger and louder than ever before.  Isabel was a little overwhelmed at first.

Will thought the fireworks were hilarious. He's a crazy kid!

It was a fun night and a late bedtime for these two kiddos!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Beech Bend

At the beginning of June, Josh took the youth group to an amusement park/water park about an hour from our house. I decided to take the kids and go along. The weather did not look promising when we left but it ended up being great. There was no rain and it wasn't very hot. That was perfect for the rides but it made the water pretty cold!

Will loved the rides a lot more than his sister!  Luckily their friend, Samuel, was there too and Will loved being able to ride rides with him.  Apparently that is way cooler than riding with mommy and daddy!

Isabel did like any ride that wasn't too fast or too high

I convinced her to go on the tea cups with me.  At first she was not so sure but ended up loving them!

Riding with daddy!

Another quick ride on the tea cups after deciding the water was just too cold for water rides!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Take me out to the ballgame...

Baseball season #2 has begun!  Now that soccer season is over, it is all about baseball in our house.  Will has been so excited.  His team is the Bulls and his best bud, Lincoln, is on the same team again this year.  Lincoln's dad is the coach and Josh is the assistant coach this year.  Like last year, half the team bats each inning so there are no real outs and no real runs.  However, this year is considered coach pitch/t'ball.  Basically that means that the coach pitches the ball three times.  If the kid doesn't hit it, they bring the tee out.  So far, Will has done well hitting the ball that is pitched to him.

His first game was the past Saturday.  Unfortunately Josh had a work retreat so he missed all but the last few minutes.  Grams and Nana were both in town though so they came along to cheer him on.  It was crazy hot but Will loved every second of it.

He got a new bigger bat this year that he is super excited about

Cutest baseball player ever!

He played pitcher and catcher in the first game which meant he had to wear a helmet and chest pad the entire game.  He loved being a part of almost every play but he was so sweaty when the game was over!!

He is getting a lot better at being able to catch a ball in the air with his glove this year.

Will loves playing pitcher because at this age most balls are hit to that area.  He quickly stopped every ball that came to him and threw to 1st base (whether the 1st baseball was ready to catch the ball or not!)

He had 2 great hits.  He hit one ball the coach pitched to him and another great hit off of the tee.  Then he got to run all the bases which is his favorite part!

Running into home!

I love this stinky, sweaty boy! :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Funnies

I have not been good recently about writing down the funny things my kids say so I'm going to try to be better.

**The other day we were driving in the car and Josh and I were having a conversation (Not about Africa or Spanish or anything even remotely related)
Will: So does all of Africa speak Spanish?
Josh and I: no, they don't speak Spanish there
Will: Well where do they speak Spanish
Me: In Spain....
Josh: and parts of South America....
Isabel: and New Jersey!
WHAT?  Josh and I could not stop laughing. This type of random question is a constant in our house. Plus Isabel is a smart kid but she may have some trouble in geography. :)

**Will has been reading to us more and more recently.  He loves it and we are proud of him.  There are times when it can be a little humerus though. The best is ANY time he comes to the word "but" while reading.  In our house I encourage the kids to say "bottom" and not say "butt" so Will thinks that he is reading a bad word.  Yes, I've tried to explain the difference in "but" and "butt" but it hasn't helped.  EVERY time he comes to that word he just starts laughing uncontrollably and either cannot say it or says it as loud as possible and then laughs so hard he can't finish the sentence.  I'm sure it doesn't help that it makes me laugh really hard too!  I'm not sure how this will go over next year when he is reading for his kindergarten teacher.

**Isabel very rarely mixes up words now (which may make me a little sad) so when she does it is especially entertaining :)  The other day she told us that she needed to "rememorize" her bible verse!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Starting summer right

We started our summer off right.  Josh took the last week of May off so we could have some fun time as a family before all of the summer craziness began.  We decided to take a trip to Birmingham and filled each day with fun.  I haven't seen my children this exhausted in a long time so we must have done something right!

We started our busy Memorial Day playing outside. Our neighborhood is hilly and does not have sidewalks so my kids don't get to ride their bikes very much.  I want them to learn to ride better and really enjoy it though so we decided to bring their bikes to Birmingham.  My mom's neighborhood is perfect and the kids had fun riding around outside!



After everyone was good and hot from bike riding, we turned on the sprinkler.  Ansley didn't have her bathing suit with her but it didn't stop her from getting wet!


This picture makes me laugh every time!

Maybe we should have rested a little more before the Baron's baseball game that night.  Luckily Will had a nice little nap on our way there and then he was ready to go!

Will has just started his second season of playing baseball.  He loves it and was super excited to see such a huge field and "real" baseball players!



Grams and Nana (taking the picture) came with us!

 

Will and his daddy

After both teams batted Isabel thought it was about time to go.  She was horrified when my mom explained that they each batted NINE times!  She made it through about 4 innings and then was begging for a phone to play.  I just don't think baseball is her favorite!

The next morning we headed to the Birmingham zoo

We all enjoyed watching the elephants spray themselves with mud!

Isabel loves to be the "big cousin" and take care of Avery and Ansley

Cousin fun!

my monkey

Apparently a late night at a baseball game and then a long morning at the zoo is fun but exhausting!!