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!!