Thursday, August 31, 2017

Football Season Has Begun

Late this summer, Lawson asked if he could play flag football along with some of his little buddies, so Adam and I discussed it and decided that we would let him give it a go and we would, for the first time, have all the boys playing different sports, on different teams, at different times on all kinds of different days.  So this fall, as you can imagine, is shaping up to be quite interesting as far as the drop off and pickup schedules for each of the boys extra curricular activities (and we only let them pick one sport per semester).  It's extra interesting on days when Lawson and Emerson have practice at the same time in opposite directions of town.  Thankfully I have great friends on both teams and they've been able to help this Momma out!

Lawson is playing Life Champs Football and is excited to be on a team with many of his good friends and I am equally as thrilled to be able to sit in the stands with people I know and enjoy being around. Last Sunday was the Jamboree, where all the teams scrimmaged at War Memorial Stadium.  It was fun to watch them do their thing.  I was proud of them!

Don't these Patriots look fierce?
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These sweet girls all have brothers playing and they enjoyed cheering for our Patriots!
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And here was most of the Patriots fans watching intently as the boys played.  We look forward to getting to cheer them on all season long!
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Unless you were living under a rock last week, you surely heard about the solar eclipse of 2017. Other then the media frenzy about it, I knew it was coming because my parents had planned a trip to Jackson Hole, WY to experience the totality of darkness that was expected and in fact did occur.    (How amazing is our God?)  They'd planned a ten day trip centered around this phenomenon of the moon and sun, but I'd not planned to really experience it for myself or for my kids. Their school was taking a conservative approach (which I greatly appreciated) and had covered all the windows in the school so as not to permanently harm any curious onlookers eyes.

On Sunday afternoon I was chatting with a friend who had decided to check her kids out of school so they could watch it with a group of our friends who homeschool. As she was talking I thought, ya know, I probably should check my kids out of school as well.  So I contacted my friend who was hosting this little shindig and asked if I could crash their party.  She said, sure, so I set to work trying to think of cute pinterest-y snacks that I could bring and settled on an assortment of cheeses (cause the moon is made of cheese, right?), as well as summer sausage (sliced round to be our "eclipse") as well as Moon Pie bites and bottles of Sunkist (cause they needed more sugar, not!) I think for a party put together fairly last minute we did an excellent job of prepping with our shared eclipse glasses that got passed around quite a bit.
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God's handiwork is spectacular! The fact that He can control the sun, moon and earth as it spins on its axis, is truly unbelievable and yet so comforting at the same time The fact that He is such a big God who not only controls the sun and moon but who also cares for the intricate parts of my little life and offers me hope and comfort each and every time I need it is humbling and leaves me both grateful and thankful to know Him as my personal Lord and Savior.
The Wink: Solar Eclipse 2017

I do have to say that here in Arkansas where we got a 90% eclipse, if felt a little bit anti climactic. Honestly, I wasn't sure what it would feel like when 90% of the sun was blocked by the moon. Truly, I thought it would get dim, and I even brought glow sticks for all the kids, but I was sorely mistaken.  Even with 90% of the sun hidden behind the moon, its powerful rays were strong.  If I hadn't known the eclipse was happening, I'd have made it through that entire day not realizing what had taken place.  But the kids enjoyed it and it gave them a reason to be checked out of school and for them, that was the best part!

And honestly, time with friends is always a joy.  I had fun hanging out with these ladies, just ignore me though, I literally couldn't see anything with those glasses on, so I look a little bit on the blind side here.  Ha!  I hear that in 2024, Little Rock will be in the path of totality, you can bet we'll be ready to experience it first hand!
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Monday, August 21, 2017

First Day of School 2017-2018

I am gonna be real honest, I was not ready for the school craziness to arrive. I truly was enjoying summer days with the kids and could've gone a little while longer. Starting to prep for the first day of school, I'd planned a special back to school breakfast and gotten up in plenty of time to cook the casserole that I'd prepped the night before. All the kids clothes were laid out and ready to go, snacks were packed as were their water bottles. There really wasn't much to do but jump in said clothes, eat said casserole, do a little hygiene, grab the back packs and hop in the car, we even had time for a morning devotion.  (Ava Jane couldn't seem to smile without closing her eyes and Emerson couldn't stop talking long enough for me to get a picture without his mouth moving.)
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But keeping it real, here on the blog, it took a little longer then usual to get the kids in their uniforms that were laid out for them; they ate a little slower then usual; and with my constant "c'mon guys", "put your belt on", "please put your other shoe on", then came the yelling..."come to the bathroom so I can do your hair", "did you brush your teeth?" All that to say, I was a little later then I should've been to leave the house. So, our morning had to skip the outdoor, front porch pictures until after school. Actually, I didn't take those front porch pictures until after dinner that evening, and better yet, I've not even posted said pictures until five days later, but who's counting?
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But we got the pictures, we made it through the first days chaotic rush and we have officially begun a new year.  Where I have one child entering 5th grade, which means he is in the Middle School with a full on locker, an A/B schedule and a new teacher for each period (can someone please tell how in the world Peyton could possibly be starting his 6th year of school!?---I have no idea how this happened.) But he's turned into quite the responsible, thoughtful, kind hearted kid, of whom I am so truly proud of and look forward to watching him flourish this year as he takes on more responsibility and ownership of his classes.
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I have three kiddos in the Elementary building and am excited that all of them are on the same hall.  In fact, Lawson and Ava Jane are right across the hall from each other, so big brother can walk her into school for me with no problem--- can I get a whoop-whoop?  We hit the jackpot with Mrs. Riding for Pre K4, Miss Crews for 1st grade and Miss Wilkie for 3rd.  I'm hoping and praying that this year holds great learning for each of them both educationally, physically and relationally.
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This girl walked right into her classroom, straight to her chair and immediately sat down.  She is so super excited to be in Mrs. Ridings and Mrs. Cole's classroom.

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It's gonna take a little getting used to, to get into our new routine where the elementary school lets out at 3:00 and the Middle School ends at 3:15, I spent the first day in carpool lines for both pickups where it took the better part of an hour (from entry to exit off campus)...which is not a welcomed event for Momma.  So we will try again and see if we can master the middle of the road pickup where Peyton walks down to the Elementary area and waits for me--fingers are crossed that we can time everything just right.

Hope each of your starts back to school have gone fairly smoothly, thankfully we had a weekend to recuperate a bit.  As we start this year with some uncertainty and angst, the verse that has stuck out to me is Lamentation 2:19 "Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.   Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children."  Praying that the Lord teaches them new things about Himself and that they continue to grow in favor with God and man.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time With Friends

A couple weekends back we had the chance to spend the day with the Helmicks, some good friends of ours.  We left Little Rock fairly early on Saturday morning but not before a stop off at Starbucks (for liquid energy) and the gas station for ice to put over the food and other drinks.  We made it to Ouachita with our posse of kiddos and enjoyed a beautiful day on the lake.
The girls were the first one out of the shoot, and I think they had a really great time.
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Even Keri got to ride with her littles, but it was a some what short ride.
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All our kids got up on at least on one if not two of the wakeboard, knee board or skies, we were all so proud!!  It was actually Emerson and Ava Jane's first time to do the knee board.  I think peer pressure was a good thing in this scenario!  Thanks to Steven who stayed in the water with all the kids as they got set, his encouragement was helpful no doubt.
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Even Keri and Steven got up, and I must say, Steven got after it!
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These girls make me smile so much.  How cute are they?  Ava Jane enjoyed  having girls on the boat.
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The kids had a great time jumping in the water, playing with water guns and soaking in the last rays of summer.
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Helmick's, thanks so much for coming with us!  We enjoyed the time together.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Make A Wish: Edyn Grace's Surprise

A few weeks back, a friend of mine, whose sweet daughter has been in my Sunday school class two years now, asked Adam and I to help celebrate Edyn Grace's Make A Wish Surprise!  I was thrilled to be asked and so glad to be apart of the celebration!  As I type this post, their family is cruising around on a Disney cruise and my prayer is that they are making wonderful memories together and having a blast as a family!
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Edyn has been training with the UALR diving team.  Several of the team members were there to share in the excitement of the day!
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Elsa and these pretty princesses helped us get into the magic of the moment.
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Edyn's dream definitely came true!  And it was a surprise for the boys too!
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Not only did she get the trip, but she received many fun gifts as well.
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And so did her brothers!
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Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas was the organization that supported this Make A Wish dream come true.  The ladies I spoke with were super excited to be apart of this surprise and were anxious to meet Edyn Grace and to help her dreams become a reality.
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I've loved getting to know this sweet little girl and her family.  They are precious and I'm thrilled they were able to go and spend this week together, making memories and enjoying time as a family.
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14th Anniversary Celebration

Adam and I try to get away with each other once a year.  This year, in the span of a month we have managed to get away twice (thanks to my p...