Monday, June 29, 2015

"See Ya Later" not "Goodbye"

Over the past year my family has had the unique privilege of getting to know a precious couple (and their children) from Rwanda. The Sengoga's came to Little Rock for a year of pastoral training with Fellowship Associates and joined our discipleship group at church. We have had the wonderful privilege of sitting under Joel's teaching spoken in his thick Rwandan accent. What a wise and godly couple he and Annie are.  They fully trust our Lord, they're committed to taking the gosple back to their home country and equipping church leaders in Kigali and beyond. Adam and I have loved getting to hear Joel speak about the incredible ways in which God got ahold of his heart and the stories of how God has faithfully gone before their family!  Their stories are remarkable, like none I've ever experienced before, but what an encouragement it is to hear of the ways our God has moved and used these sweet people.

Last Thursday night, a few days before they left to go back home, us, along with many of their dear Arkansan friends, had a "see ya later" party.  It was a time of food, fellowship and fun!  As I look back on the pictures from that night and remember the friendships that have formed, I can't help but think that God must've been smiling as he looked down on this group of friends.  I believe it truly was (and is) a taste of what heaven will be like.
IMG_6128

IMG_6111

There were fun cookies that were as cute as they were tasty! 
IMG_6133


The grillers doing their thing.
IMG_6112


Time with friends.
IMG_6134

IMG_6123


IMG_6139

IMG_6113

IMG_6109

IMG_6126

IMG_6144

IMG_6154

Sweet Annie, you will surely be missed but we do look forward to many more gatherings in the future both on US as well as Rwandan soil!  I love you dear friend and am praying for your transition back home to be smooth and just a sweet time of reconnecting with family and friends!  I'll see you later!

IMG_6161

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Catching up with "The Hoopty"

Last week Adam got the opportunity to go see the U.S. Open out in Seattle. It just so happens that one of his best friends growing up, Luke Bakke (aka "The Hoopty") now lives in Seattle so he was able to spend several days catching up with an old friend while watching (and playing) one of his favorite sports.

Luke spent several years of his life as a professional golfer so it was a real treat for Adam to be able to play along with him his first full day there. They played at Mill Creek Golf Club which had the catch phrase of being "Uniquely Northwest", and since it was Adam's first time playing out in that part of the country I must say from the pictures, it looks beautiful to have all those evergreen trees lining the course.  While he was there it was a perfect 75 degrees and blue skies, very atypical for Seattle this time of year.
IMG_7206


IMG_7205


IMG_7208


    Adam has always picked up a couple pointers from Luke and was able to put a few things into practice while he was there.
IMG_7204


He enjoyed a delicious dinner with Luke and his wife at El Guacho by Aqua, Seattles #2 seafood restaurant.  It was right on the water so the view was spectacular.  Adam got the halibut and said it was very good, a definite repeater.
IMG_7209


The last day they watched some of the U.S. Open practice rounds to what ended up being an awesome week for Jordan Speith.  Adam said it was a very challenging course for the players but it also was for the spectators in that players were difficult to follow because of the elevation changes on the course.  Over just one day he walked more then 23,000 steps totaling 11 plus miles but they sure had fun seeing the players do their thing.
IMG_7210


IMG_7211

Adam thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Luke, sharing old stories and catching up on more recent events.  There is something to be said about friends who span many years, who've seen you through all different stages and phases of life, those who are mutually encouraging and filled with good laughs.  I'm so thankful that Adam got this opportunity, I know he'd love to do it again!  
IMG_7322





(The Chambers Bay Golf Course, where the U.S. Open was held, is known for having this one lone tree out on the course... I thought this picture was too pretty not to share!)
Lone Tree Chambers Bay Golf Course

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Family Of Seven….For A Week

My computer has been on the brink for some time now so it spent over ten hours at the Apple Store yesterday, namely because "I have exhausted i-Photo with over 28,000 pictures"…and yes, I know, that's ridiculous! I've now gotten all those pictures transferred to an external hard drive, yay!!  But for the past week I've been one frustrated little Momma as the "color wheel" has spun and spun and spun, taking me hours to upload, edit and post on the blog.

So today I'm playing a little bit of catch up. Last week we had my sister's little boy while they went out to California for a friends wedding.  I wasn't sure how the week would go with my four plus Lachlan, but from the get go, he was an angel baby.  Being only 3.5 months old I figured I would be up several times in the night feeding him, but nope…he slept all night long which in this Momma's book, is A-MAZ-ING!! He was such an easy little guy and he fit right into our crazy!
Untitled

He came to Emerson and Ava Jane's swim lessons, hung out at the pool, went on playdates with our friends and rolled with the punches of being in a "family of seven" for a week!  I told my sister, "if he keeps this up, I'll be telling you to go ahead and book your next trip real soon!"  I don't think she'll be taking me up on that for a while, but I'll be ready when she does!!

Emerson and Ava Jane really enjoyed their swim lessons.  Emerson is doing great and I feel much more confident letting him swim without his puddle jumper now.  Ava Jane didn't really like sticking her face down in the water so we still have a ways to go with her, but isn't she cute?
IMG_7003

IMG_7011

Here, they were waiting in the car during the lessons, listening to Peyton read Mr. Poppers Penguins.
IMG_6918


Swimming with Daddy and playing with friends is always fun and Lachlan was quite a sweet addition!
IMG_7213

IMG_7212


IMG_7218


IMG_6790

There was only one night that gave us a run for our money.  It was the night Peyton's baseball team had a pizza party to hand out the trophies from the season.  So we went with out our family of "seven".  Just to set the stage, Emerson hadn't napped well, Ava Jane was just fussy and Lachlan wasn't having the luke warm bottle, so Adam had Em and AJ on each knee and I had my hands full with Lachlan.  Peyton received his award and we quickly gathered our things and headed toward the door.  I asked Adam to hold AJ and Em's hands as we left the restaurant and set out into the parking lot that was right near a busy road, but AJ was not having it and did the normal two year old response.  She went "limp", buckled at the knees and dropped to the ground while Adam still had a firm grip on her hand.  That's when she started crying and wailing in pain.  Adam felt terrible and after the fifteen minute drive to the house and her crying didn't stop, he decided to take her to Children's ER. Turns out, that she had Milkmaids Elbow, meaning she'd dislocated her elbow.  Thankfully though, she actually set it back into place herself as they waited to see the doctor.  He did inform Adam that once it happens it's likely to happen again so he showed Adam how to put it back into place if, in the unfortunate case, this happens again.

This was that moment in the parking lot right after the horrible incident when I was trying to find the keys, with a fussy baby, a crying two year and boys who were all begging for ice cream.  We obviously went straight home, bypassing the ice cream, much to the boys chagrin.  We tried to make Ava Jane feel better with an Elsa bandaid, but what she had going on was more then a kiss and a "sticker" could fix.  Daddy was so grateful that nothing was seriously wrong, he was so worried he'd broken her wrist (which is what she kept complaining about, apparently the pain from the elbow radiates down to the wrist).  They ended up getting home from the the hospital about midnight, so we were thankful to finally drop into bed!
IMG_7045

IMG_7219

IMG_7220


A few days later Adam left town and when Daddy's away, the family will play!!  Adam got the opportunity to go see part of the U.S. Open last week so we decided to have several dinners out with friends.   And pizza in the park is always a good idea, for the kids and the Mommas!!
IMG_7175

IMG_7179

IMG_7123

IMG_7097

The boys loved holding and helping with Lachlan and it was fun to see Ava Jane become a little Momma, wanting to push her monkey on the playground and trying to help feed Lachlan.  I had four big helpers and I was so grateful for it!
IMG_7195


IMG_7037

He loved watching his ocean friends and listening to the music.  
IMG_6946

Life with "five" really went well.  It definitely had its crazy moments but we had fun!!
IMG_6989

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Day Date

Adam and I recently had a day date. Most people do date nights, but this time we opted for an afternoon spent together.  I must say I enjoyed the time away with him, having a leisure lunch and then spending the afternoon soaking in the warmth of the sun, seeing the beautiful golf course and doing some "house gazing". We certainly had a fun time together!
banner2

While we drove the course we talked about how we need to make date nights (or days for that matter) more of a regular thing.  We often have sitters for events and dinners but those aren't what I'd consider a "date".  It's those times when we have to be "on" and engaging with others rather then focused solely on one another and making more memories together, so hopefully, in the months to come we will do a better job of prioritizing date days or nights--both are equally fun, though I must say date nights are a little more preferred since the littles are down when you come home!
IMG_6958

Boy how I love this man!
IMG_5946


IMG_5924


IMG_5932


IMG_5928


Since we were playing golf I looked up the definition of "caddy".  In golf, a caddy (or caddie) is the person who carries a player's bag and clubs and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it.  I can't say that I carried his literal bag and clubs, though I did drive them around the course.  I may not have given "insightful advice and moral support" as to which golf club to use on which hole, but I do often given moral support and try to give insightful advice to Adam's daily comings and goings.   It said, "a good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course"--I feel that as his wife, its good for me to know and recognize the challenges he faces (at work and in life in general) I love how when he shares something with me that I he's struggling to make a decision on, I usually have the ability to just say, well, it seems to me that it should be this way, or it should be that way.   Sometimes what seems difficult when he is down in the weeds of something for him seems so obvious to me, and then given the same scenario (in reverse) he does the same for me.  I'm so thankful for our partnership, for the marriage that God has blessed us with and for the fact that I still love being with him.  I can hardly fathom that come this August, we will have been married twelve years.  It is truly nice to be twelve years in, and to now know when it's okay to simply be quiet and enjoy one anthers company, or to also know when something needs to be said.  I've loved all our Head Happenings, and this crazy journey that God has had us on, I couldn't have picked a better player to "caddy" for!  I love you Adam!

I'm all for day dates, lets plan the next one real soon!!
IMG_6966

Friday, June 12, 2015

Daddy Daughter Date Night

Adam and I try to do special things with each of our kids, I rarely get just one on one time with any of them, so usually for me its time spent with just the "bigs" or with just the "littles".   However, this week Adam got the unique opportunity to do Daddy Daughter night at our local Chick-Fil-A just he and Ava Jane.  It was a princess themed night so I thought it'd be fun for her to wear her Cinderella dress and silver high heels.  But oh no she wasn't having it, she DID.NOT want to wear it!! After wrangling her into it and trying to put on her jewelry and shoes while she screamed, I decide "this is not worth it." So I asked her, "Ava Jane, what would you like to wear tonight?" She promptly said "that" as she pointed to her watermelon smocked dress and red sandals.  So…she wasn't dressed as a princess, but she still looked pretty darn cute to me!!  (She wasn't too sure about that cow princess standing beside her either.)

IMG_5898


Since I personally know two of the CFA operators here in Little Rock, I must say a big "thank you" for taking the time and making the effort to do fun things like this for families.  As a Mom with four little people, who eat at your restaurants on a week by week and sometimes day to day basis, I'm so thankful for the service, smiles and "it's my pleasure" attitude.  I'm a huge fan and always will be!!  CFA on Cantrell, thanks for creating a fun evening for these two, complete with the goodie bag (the little princess cow has been Ava Jane's side kick all week and the stickers and cookies didn't last long either), crafts, a castle inspired atmosphere, and of course, the princess carriage ride!

I think it's safe to say that Ava Jane had a great first date, here's hoping for many many more!
IMG_3137


IMG_3135


"Thanks" go to this great owner/operator for hosting such a great event!
IMG_3140


That moment when she saw the horse drawn carriage…she was thrilled to ride inside!
IMG_3143


IMG_3197

Unfortunately her bow needed adjusting in this picture…but it doesn't really matter since she was in hog heaven and loving every minute she had with her Daddy!  Oh how I love these two!!

IMG_7038


CARTI: Festival of Trees

This past week was filled with wonderful events that all benefited CARTI. CARTI, is THE cancer treatment facility that provides hope and he...