Thursday, August 18, 2016

First Day At LRCA

Today was the start of school.  I had prepared a breakfast casserole and homemade banana bread with fruit on the side; I wanted to make sure their bellies were full once they got to school.  Every Friday they have Warrior wear that can be worn so as a little start-to-school gift, I wrapped a few t-shirts and sweatshirts for each child.
Then we took a few quick pictures on the porch before heading out the door.
Today was a big first for us.   It was the first day at a new school for each one of my kids, the first day all my children were under one roof, on ONE campus.  As I pulled into a parking spot my eyes began to fill with tears.  I was able to dab them up and pull myself together and thankfully the boys were in Adam's truck with him and I just had Ava Jane who couldn't see my face.
It was the first day my kids had to choose between running through the "tunnel" of cheering and high-fiving Seniors or walking through the other more "quiet doors".  I'll give you one guess which side of the building my crew chose...definitely the "quiet door".
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We proceeded to take each child and get them settled in their rooms.  Peyton sat down and immediately began chatting with some other boys in his class.  Next came Ava Jane; that big girl walked in, hung her backpack right up and started playing immediately. She wouldn't have even said "bye" to me except that I said, "I'll see you soon sweet girl!"  She was completely fine for us to leave.  Emerson found his spot at his kindergarten table and settled right in too.  Last but not least, we dropped Lawson off in the hallway next to his little buddy Ridge.
After everyone was in their proper places I went up to Warrior Hall to the Tears and Cheers coffee social where I met several really nice ladies and got to meet some new and returning families.  I look forward to what this new year will bring.

It was an early pickup today, so I got all my peeps at noon and headed to The Purple Cow to eat with Adam.   The kids loved their purple milk shakes!!IMG_2886
I look forward to what this next year holds.  It's all new to me--almost all the people who are there are new to me, the schedule and the routine.  Every single part of this year will take some getting used to for us all, but I am excited for what this next chapter holds for me and my kids.  I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to put our kids in a place where they are taught the same things we are trying to instill in them at home; a desire to be Warriors, not just in mascot and name but in character as they seek first His kingdom and as they move onward and upward in their walk with God.  I'm praying that this year will be a great one for us all!  (If I look tired in that last picture, its because I.AM.EXHAUSTED!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Prepping for school

The last few days have been spent getting things in order for the start of school tomorrow.  We are making a big transition as we move all four of our kids to Little Rock Christian this year.  I honestly have not been excited about the start of school.  This summer has really been enjoyable and I've genuinely liked having the kids home most days.  But this past week with the new family meetings, meet the teacher night, last minute well check appointments (that included a missed shot for one of my children), two trips to get allergy shots and hair cuts for all four--has just about done me in.

We got to meet Ava Jane's Pre K3 teachers, Mrs. Hutson and Mrs. Smith.  Our time in their classroom went so well that Ava Jane threw a fairly good fit when it came time to leave the class.  On the positive side, she likes her class and her teachers, on the negative side, they got to see her true colors right off the bat.
Emerson has Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Walsh who both seem like such sweet ladies.  I hope he enjoys "being a big boy" tomorrow as he crosses off another milestone by heading off to Kindergarten.  I cannot believe this little guy is going to school every day this year!  I am excited to have the option of half days so that I have more time with just him while Ava Jane naps in the afternoons.
Lawson got Miss Bushey, who seems like a really fun teacher.  He is in class with several little buddies that he knows so I was thankful for that answer to prayer.
Peyton has Mrs. Griffin.  She was very warm and welcoming to us, and as newbies, we were thankful for how kind and helpful all the staff has been to us so far as we learn our way around campus.  Peyton doesn't know a ton of the kids in his grade but there are several familiar faces from his last school, so that was a welcomed relief to find out.
I always take the kids to Pig Tails and Crew Cuts and Mrs. Denise does her thing no matter how much wriggly movements she has to deal with.  I took this picture of Ava Jane because she was super upset about those "cwips"...she wanted those babies out of her hair and off her head.  She was so frustrated by them that I could NOT get her to look at the camera for a picture.  (It was a pretty funny moment to endure.)  But this sweet thing got three entire inches cut off and still her hair is long!
Then we spent an hour and a half in the doctors office with all five of these peeps.  After hammering through an entire sleeve of graham crackers, 3 packs of raisins and a Mum Mum, this Momma was about to jump out the window from all the whining and complaining.  I often will pray outloud when I start to feel overwhelmed and I usually am asking God to help me to respond rightly and kindly.  I do this so that the kids can hear me asking Him for, I could tell Peyton was concerned for me and was trying to pull the slack from all the other kids as we made our way out of the clinic, through the parking lot and into the car.  I don't know what I would do without my first born and his helpful, take initiative, self!!!
So, though I'll be sad to take all my kiddos and leave them at their new school, I am pretty certain I will enjoy a few quiet, alone hours before I have to pick them all back up at noon.  I'm glad that we get to "ease" into our start to the year with just a half day for all.  I look forward to hearing how their first day goes!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Trip to the Capitol

As summer draws to a close I am still checking off some of our Summer Sanity-2016 Bucket List.  A friend of mine had suggested taking the kids and going to tour the Arkansas State Capitol.  When I called to schedule the tour I discovered that there was a Capitol Quest Scavenger Hunt that was self guided.  I threw the idea out to a few of my mom friends and they jumped right on board.  The hunt is geared more to kids Peyton's age and older, so since we had quite a few kids (19 to be exact) who were kindergarten age or younger, we decided to wing it a bit.
We had such cute little Capitol explorers, who I must say really did pretty good overall.  The security guards did give them a pre-exploration talk explaining that this was a place of business where people are doing real work and that with all the marble in the building, even the smallest noise would echo throughout the halls.  They certainly weren't quiet as a mouse but given the age and number or our little posse, I was fairly impressed with our children.
Usually the Treasurers Office is open and allows tourists to hold $100 K and get your picture made with it but unfortunately the office was closed yesterday.  I was a little bummed that several of the usual areas to tour were closed off but our kids enjoyed peeking in the windows to see where discussions take place and where laws are officially signed.  

The architecture throughout the building is really beautiful.  We learned that the Capitol building is 105 years old.  That there have been 45 Governors and 10 who had to step in as Governor due to death or a resignation.  As we walked around we were able to read a few of the informative boards that spoke to the history of the building and the people who have served there.  We talked about the different styles of pillars throughout the Capitol and counted the pillars and balconies that encircle the rotunda area.  The kids enjoyed seeing all the state flags that line the hallways and Emerson surprised me when he said "hey, thats George Washington".  When I pulled the green flag out to look, there in fact was George Washington in the centered of Washington's state flag.

We rode the elevator a lot since there were three of us Mom's who had a stroller in tow (thanks to Carol, who caught this assertive moment of me asking Ava Jane to "please press the button!")  Toward the end of our tour the kids started down the stairs leaving us no choice but to flex our Mommy muscles--a special thanks goes out to the gentleman who helped Lynn get Micah's stroller down the staircase.
As you can see, our group was clearly not subtle as we traipsed around the marbled out building, but I did enjoy getting to do something we hadn't done before that was indoors and included air-conditioning!
We are trying to enjoy every last minute of summer as we squeeze in the last few things I'd hoped to do on our break.   I enjoyed making a memory with this sweet group of friends.  (Our kids have gotten pretty good at looking at the camera--I was impressed to see how this group shot turned out!)
After the above picture was snapped we tried to quietly and quickly exit the building.  Once on the outside, we let the kids run off some energy as they ran up and down the Capitol steps.  We ended our time by chowing down at Chick-Fil-A then we headed home for naps!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

13 Years of Marriage

Marriage.  Marriage is such a wonderful blessing and a beautiful gift.  Our marriage has been full of joyful moments and really fun times spent together but it also has brought its fair share of difficult, challenging and self-sacrificing stretches too.  Life is full of ups and downs, happy moments and gut wrenching sadness that often occurs simultaneously.  I knew, thirteen years ago, when I married Adam, that I loved him very much.  What I didn't know was that my love for him thirteen years later, would be so much stronger then it was the day I married him.  My love for him has grown steadily each day and year that we have been privileged to spend together.  He has always been faithful to me, and he sacrifices time and energy to provide for our family.  He loves me with his actions and regularly verbalizes how much he cares for me.  I don't think I could love Adam Head any more, but I am certain thirteen years from now, through more good times and bad, our love will be even more solidified then it is now.  I truly believe Ecclesiastes 4:12 when it says "a chord of three strands cannot be easily broken."  I'm so thankful that Adam and I have the foundation of our marriage built upon the strength of the Lord which enables us to forgive one another- offering and accepting forgiveness which allows us to move toward each other even when feelings have been hurt or when miscommunications have occurred.  If we didn't have the reminder that "we love because He first loved us", our marriage would be much more challenging in the day to day, but because of the example Jesus lived out before us, we have something to emulate, something to model our relationship after.  We certainly don't do this perfectly, we fail on some level most every day.  We have had blow up arguments and disagreed about things,  I've spoken harshly more times than I care to admit and he has been irritated with me more times than I wish to share.  The thing is, we are both just two imperfect humans trying to live life together, and truly, it just takes work.  It takes dying to self every day and that is just plain hard to do.

At our wedding Emily Mesko sang The Prayer, the lyrics say:
"I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know...

...Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe."

I loved that song thirteen years ago and still enjoy hearing it sung today.  It's beautiful from start to finish, but its truly such a precious prayer when spoken to the Lord.  We still ask God to give us His insights, to show us where He'd have us go and where He'd have us plug in.  Sometimes we still don't know how to discipline our children in certain circumstances, sometimes I'm not sure how to respond when he shares things that have happened during his day away at work.  I often feel the weight of rearing our children in a God honoring way while he shoulders the burdens of providing for our family.  One is not better then the other or more valuable then another, they are just different roles that have extremely important functions and are what allow our family to operate efficiently and effectively.  I'm so grateful to have been given such a wonderful team mate and partner to navigate this journey of life alongside.

To commemorate our thirteen years of marriage, here are thirteen things I am praying for our marriage now and in the future:
1.That we would continue to draw near to God (James 4:8 "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...")
2.That our marriage would be a testimony of our faith (I Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.")
3.That we would fulfill the responsibilities given to us as a husband and wife (Luke 12:48 "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked.")
4.That we would be content with little or with much and that we would steward well, what God has given us. (I Timothy 6:7-8 "For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.")
5.That we will always run to God in times of trouble. (Psalm 91:1-2 "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.")
6.That we would be strong in our faith and withstand all of Satan's attacks on our marriage & family.  (Ephesians 6:10 "Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the Devil's schemes.")
7.That we would encourage each other with our words.  (Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.")
8.That we would be patient with each other. (I Corinthians 13:4 "Love is patient...")
9.That God would put His hedge of protection around us. (Psalm 91:11 "For he will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.")
10.That we would instill a Godly heritage in our children (Isaiah 38:19 "It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.")
11.That we would model for our kids what a Godly marriage looks like (Luke 6:31 "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.")
12. That we would be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19)
13. That we would always remember whatsoever things that are true, honest, right, pure, lovely, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, we should think on such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

Adam, I love you tremendously and am so grateful God gave you to me!  I look forward with eager anticipation to what the next thirteen years will hold!  You have my whole heart, Happy Anniversary!

Monday, August 8, 2016

McLellan/Head Lake Trip

We spent the past four days at the lake with both my family and Adam's.  We have tried to do this the past few summers and its alway a fun time.  Not everyone was able to come for the entire time, but we did make some memories--mostly good with a few un-welcomed ones thrown in for good measure.
Peyton was super excited to have been entrusted with the throttle and the steering wheel on this lake trip.  He is thrilled to be the chauffeur around on the lake, he did a great job and loved every second of it!
Lawson enjoyed helping to pull up the anchor.
There was tubing fun had by all.
This was the summer of "firsts"; the first time Peyton and Lawson crossed over the wake on skies and the kneeboard and the first time Emerson was able to ski on the training board.
There was a little pep talk for Em, followed by me hanging onto the back of the board and basically doing a plank across the lake while being pulled behind the boat (as I hung onto the training board he was standing on-- got a good arm workout in that day!)  But these are the lengths parents go to in order to help their kids right?!  No matter what, a big "Yay Emie", goes out to him cause he did great!
Adam caught big air multiple times; here's the set-up and several big air shots (courtesy of Gigi!)
Way to go Poppy, he's still got it!
G-Dad and Whitney got with it too.  
We had lots of down time just hanging in the water.  There was sun, fun and a little whining thrown in, but all in all, it really was a fun few days.  
We decided to do a little challenge of who can do the craziest dismount off the party barge, over the tube and into the water...I think Bill Head (aka Poppy) gets about an 8.5 on this one!  The video is hilarious, it takes a minute to get there, but the end is hysterical!!
I started to get a little bit irked when the raindrops began falling and then turned into a full-out down pour---being cold and completely soaked is not my idea of a good time.  This too was a first for me, I've never sat in a cove while rain fell hard and cold...unfortunately, now I can say I have!  And let's be clear, pelting rain does NOT feel good when trying to get back to the dock!
Summer Holiday
So we took it to the cabin for lunch and waited it out.   As luck would have it, by the time we got up to the cabin with the food all pulled out, the sun was shining again, which we were thrilled about.

It wouldn't be a good lake trip without some games, and Headbands is a favorite of ours!
Sweet Lawson found a bull frog one night while we were grilling out.  I sure love this cutie!!
And while the hotdogs and burgers were cooking, cousins had fun playing together.
I am thankful that the McLellan's and Head's can hang out together and genuinely have a good time.  I feel truly blessed to call these people my family.  Here is a look back at our past trips spent together 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a lit...