Monday, September 30, 2013

Pictures and More Words

Friday night was spent at our church, helping out and attending a kids' event called Go Fish.  We do this three or four times a year, and we love it.  It's free, it's from 6-9, and the kids get pizza, ice cream, they get to play games and then it ends with a devotion by Austin.  I love helping out at this, because I usually get placed at the registration tables, and we all know how I love to be social.  ;)

After Go Fish, I walked Graham back to our gym and signed him in for the high school lock-out.  It started at 9:30, and they stayed at the church for about an hour, then they went to Putt-Putt Golf and Games for an overnight stay.  It was unlimited mini-golf and go-karts, they were fed, given a game room card, and they got to drive bumper boats and participate in the ropes course.  Some fell asleep, most did not.  They got back to church at 6:00 Saturday morning.

And I got to witness this gorgeous sunrise:


I picked Graham up and he immediately went upstairs to shower.  I fixed him a large cup of strong coffee, gave him a granola bar, then took him to Chick Fil A.  Poor thing couldn't find anyone to cover his shift, so after being up all night, he worked after from 7-2pm.  When he got home, this is what happened:


He slept for a couple hours, then got up for dinner and to start a fire in our fire pit.  Todd worked on this night, so my best friend came over to keep me company.  I made us French dip sandwiches and roasted potatoes.  She brought some crazy delicious "brownies" for us to enjoy for dessert.  I placed quotation marks around brownies because on the bottom was cookie dough, on top of that were Oreo cookies, and on top of those was brownie batter.

Shut your mouth.  They were insane.  In a great way.

Sunday morning found us back at church.  (I love our church.)  In lieu of our Bible Fellowship classes, we all met in the fellowship hall and listened to Lisa Erwin, the mom of Trey Erwin who died in July of 2012.  I'm sure you've heard of him...anyway, Lisa and Jay are amazing parents.  She told Trey's story from the beginning to the day he died.  It was so moving and most of the women and teenage girls cried off a good amount of make-up.

Brother Chuck preached such a great sermon yesterday about having a servant's heart, for the Lord and for others.  It was so good, and it was out of Philippians.  At the end of the service, he prayed a special prayer for married people, and that the Lord would help them serve one another in their marriages.  And then, when we got home and I went upstairs to get comfy, I saw this:


Todd was still asleep when we left yesterday morning.  He met us in the sanctuary at ten thirty.  We all know how much I love to have a beautifully made bed each day, right?  And I left him in bed that morning, which means that before he left for church, he made the bed for me!  I thought it was a perfect example of him serving me that Brother Chuck had just talked about.  So today, I will be thinking of something I can do to serve him.

Isn't that sweet, though?  He's a keeper.  ;)

Our weekend ended with Jonah, Noah and Alex (our guest for the weekend) at AWANA, Drew went to CAMO (Community Accountability Ministry Outreach), and Graham and I went to community group.

I love community group.


I love all the teenagers, the leaders, my friends who host it each week, I love everything about it.

How was your weekend?  I pray your day is wonderful~speaking of that, I need to get started on mine.  Lots to do!  Love to all.



Sunday, September 29, 2013

~weekend~

friends
church
fellowship
laughter
pizza
waking up before the sunrise
driving back and forth
Chick Fil A
ibuprofen
7a.m. grocery shopping
Alabama (&SEC) football
French dip sandwiches
my best friend
coffee with hazelnut creamer
chocolate donuts
our weekend house-guest
church
a talk from a precious mama who lost her son to pancreatic cancer
singing
worshiping
church notes


Just a glimpse of things that took place during our weekend.  Love to all.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

mid~week

We've had a busy week with school work and running around.  On Tuesday, we had to take Andy back to the vet.  Remember that skin thing he had going on last week under his chin?  That went away, but now it's on his chest and halfway down his stomach.  :(  We took him to the vet to get laser treatments for it.  Poor little guy.  Well, poor big guy.  He's also on more medicine.  :(


Isn't he cute?  These are their new dog beds that Todd bought them on Sunday.  I love them...and I think it's safe to say that the pups love them, too.  We woke up at five this morning, to send Todd off to work.  He never leaves this early, but this morning he left at 5:45.  I went ahead and got up and showered, and have been enjoying my coffee in complete silence in this early hour.  (Since I homeschool, we no longer have to wake up at the crack of dawn.)

Wednesday morning found us in the waiting room at our dentist.  I LOVE getting my teeth cleaned...I don't think the boys love it as much, but we adore all our people at Dr. Garrett's office.  Here are Graham, Jonah and Noah awaiting their turn, playing on their phones or galaxy players.  I was reading my latest book, a Nicholas Sparks book I've never read before.


Our appointment started at nine and we left at eleven thirty.  It takes a while for the five of us to be seen, but it's well worth the wait.  And these guys?  They walk around in the back like they own the place, that's how comfortable they are here.  His office is small and very friendly...and the same people have been there forever, which says tons about Dr. Garrett.  :)  And he's a sweet, Godly man, with an even sweeter Godly wife.  I'm telling you, we love them.

After our appointment I brought the boys home and went to lunch with my friend Scottie.


This was taken Monday night at my house, after Bible study.  :)  I love her.  I'm grateful for friendships like this one...I pray I never take it for granted.  And I pray that I am as good a friend to my friends as they are to me.  

After lunch, I came home and got the boys and took them to Chick Fil A for milkshakes.  And I got this:


A giant cup of their yummy ice!  Have I mentioned my addiction to ice lately?  I'm pretty sure it's because my iron is low right now.  I should buy some vitamins, shouldn't I?

The rest of our day flew by and ended at church last night.  I ended up walking with some sweet fourth grade girls to collect cans for our food pantry at church.  I didn't know I was going to do that, but I'm glad I went.  I got to catch up with my sweet friend, Amy, the wife of our young families minister at church, Austin.

It's been a great week...and today is our homeschool group!  I love this day.  How's your week been?  Is it flying by as fast as mine is?  Love to all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday

I started a post on Sunday and never hit "publish".  I finally deleted it.  That happens sometimes, although this time, I wasn't "venting" about Facebook, so I don't know why I never could finish the writing part.  Usually if I have something not so nice to say, I never can seem to make myself hit that "publish" button.  I'll start again, with new things to say this time.  ;)

Yesterday was one of those fabulous kind of days in our world of homeschooling.  As a homeschooling mom, I've learned that you have three kinds of days: (1) the normal kind of day, when everyone does only what you tell them to do and nothing more or less; (2) the fabulous kind of day, when everyone goes way above and beyond your expectations of them and everything just flows along very smoothly; and (3) the very bad kind of day, when everyone fights, work doesn't get finished and tears end up falling.  For them and for me.

Just keepin' it real.

Yesterday went so great that I decided to take pictures for proof and as future encouragement for myself.




If you're wondering how a fabulous kind of day goes, it goes something like this:

(1) I get up early and work on their lesson plan for this week.  (I struggle with being motivated to stay ahead.)
(2) They eat breakfast, brush their teeth and make their beds, get dressed and come downstairs and we start.
(3) I tell them that everything on their list is the stuff due this week, whether it be actual assignments, projects or the taking of quizzes and tests and I allow them to work at their own pace, going as fast or as slow as they wish.
(4) They get to work and work way ahead so they can have easier days the rest of the week.  In the case of yesterday, they worked very diligently from 9:00 to 2:00, only stopping for about fifteen minutes for lunch.  I know, those of you with kids in school, that doesn't seem like very long, but when you homeschool and take away all the time allotted for bathroom breaks, lunch, walking to and from classes and explaining of things, our normal day is usually 3~4 hours long.
(5) They don't argue and they actually help one another with their work.

I was proud of them.

While they worked, I cleaned, did laundry and put out all of our Fall decorations.  Once Fall comes, one thing I have down the last couple of years is taking advantage of the Fall candles I so love.  I think I got this idea from Courtney, at Women Living Well.  There is something about a candle being lit and music playing softly in the background that makes for such a peaceful day.  So while the boys work, our candles are lit and K-Love is playing on my kitchen radio.

I must stop here and tell you how thankful I am for my mom.  As I was placing all of our decorations yesterday, I realized that almost everything I was putting out was something that she has given me over the years.  Some of it was stuff she just didn't use anymore, some of it was from the shops she's worked at over the years that they were trying to get rid of quickly.  One thing (among many) that I love about my mom is her generosity.  She loves to help people have beautiful homes; in fact, she is gifted in that area.  My home is proof of that, as lots of things come from her!  So, Mom, thank you!  I love you and appreciate you so much.  :)

The one down side to my day is that it was one o'clock before I got out of my pajama's.  I was forced to, because as soon as they were done, we had errands to run.  That's not a bad thing, though~that being in my pj's for so long.  Some days just call for it.  ;)  As soon as they were finished with their work and I was dressed, we hit the road to run some errands.  We had to go to the library, to pay our water bill, to Chick Fil A so Graham could get his schedule and finally, to Kroger.

At one point, while Graham was in the library, I caught Drew doing this:


He said, "I have such beautiful feet."  In all sincerity.  Sometimes he cracks me up...sometimes I wonder where in the world we went wrong.  ;)  (I don't really think that.)  He is definitely confident in himself.

I have come to love Monday nights, because this is the night some sweet ladies come and gather in my home for Bible study.  We're doing Beth Moore's David: Seeking A Heart Like His.  It is so amazing!  At one point in doing my homework yesterday, I was weeping onto the pages of my workbook.  It was a good kind of cry, of course, but sometimes I cannot help from being so choked up over the Lord and His goodness.

And the more I study His word, the more deeply I fall in love with Him.

I love the sweet ladies that come each week~we've kind of dwindled down to the same six or seven each week, but that's normal and perfectly fine.  God makes sure that the right lady makes it every single week.  I love Bible study, and I love these precious friends.  They bless me more than I can possibly explain.

Well, I must get a start on my day.  I pray your day is wonderful.  Love to all.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

an article I read

This post is not written by me.  I friend of mine posted a link to this article on Facebook this morning, and I copied and pasted...even the picture.  It's written by Susan Basham, and it's from a magazine called Prodigal Magazine.  Here it is below:


Pulling my car into the drive-thru line at Starbucks, I wondered why it was a dozen people deep. It wasn’t raining, yet it seemed everyone was driving through today. I was transporting three dogs to the groomer, and there was no way I could leave two wild Shih-tzus and one crazy Bichon alone while I went inside for my daily dose. 

Millie, the Bichon, sat on my lap licking the window. 

As I peeled her away from the glass, I saw the woman. 

She sat across the parking lot, leaving just enough room for a thoroughfare, as she too was waiting in the Starbucks line. I smiled, and gestured to her. It went something like this: “Are you next, or am I?” Really, I was fine either way. 

She was not. 

Thinking I was trying to snag her spot of next up, she gunned her Suburban, rolled down the window, and let out a string of expletives that made me blush. Millie barked back a retort. 

“Go ahead, please,” I said. “I wasn’t sure who was first.” I pulled Millie back onto my lap, so she could see I had been dog-distracted and truly didn’t know who was next. 

She didn’t buy it. She continued with the name calling without taking a breath. I won’t write them down here, but the main mantra shared initials with the number one social networking site. 

Then something really strange happened. 

Instead of getting mad or yelling back at her, a sense of empathy invaded me. I looked at her again, and this time I saw someone different, someone who wrenched my heart. Her eyes were red and puffy. Her hair was pulled back in a natty ponytail. She held her phone in her palm, glancing down at it every few seconds. And she was driving that big ole’ gas hog of a Suburban, my own car of choice when I had three kids at home and a carpool. 

Dear God. I was looking at myself ten years ago. Same car, same ponytail. Same frustration. 

We’ve all been there. Dog vomits on the sofa. Both kids have strep throat. The garbage disposal chooses today to break, when you are trying to disintegrate moldy fridge leftovers.  Husband is mad because you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning and he’s going on a business trip. Sound familiar? 

And by the way, was that him she had been talking to or texting? She gunned forward, just to show me that she could. 

I left her a wide berth, smiled at her splotchy face. She shot me a sideways scowl, mouthed the mantra again. 

Pulling up to the loudspeaker behind her, I said “I want to pay for whatever the woman in front of me has ordered. And please tell her I hope she has a better day.” I meant every word. 

The woman idled in front of me for a good four minutes, talking to the barista who had leaned out the window. She shook her head and handed over a bill. She drove around the side of the building slowly, this time no gunning. Hmmm. 

“No takers, huh?” I said to the barista as I pulled forward. 

“Nope. She said she couldn’t believe you wanted to pay for her drink after all the names she called you. She said she couldn’t allow it, and said to tell you she was sorry. She felt really bad.” 

“Did you tell her I hoped she had a better day?” 

“Yep. She said thanks— that she already was.” 

“Good to hear.” I smiled and handed her a dollar to put in the tip jar. 

As I drove away, I began to cry. Not because I had been called so many terrible names, but because God had answered my very recent prayer—which was that He would allow me to see people as He sees them, not as I see them. 

That I might be able to see the hurting inside, instead of just the hurtful outside. And maybe a few tears were of gratitude and amazement that He always shows up with an answer when I sincerely ask. 

Have you ever had an experience that made you see someone in a new way?
*******************************
Be challenged, my friends...I know I am.  Love to all.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

things I love

I love...

~getting up early, probably because on most mornings, I don't have to.

~the quiet that comes with this~it never lasts for long, but this morning it is.  (I've been up since five.)

~that first sip of my morning coffee.

~Seattle's Best #5 coffee.  It's stronger and richer and darker than all the other numbers.


~our church.  It's taken me a long time to be able to say that, but since about February, we have all felt this way.  Leaving F/A was one of the harder things I've ever had to do in my life because I loved the people so much.  And the music.  It was amazing.  But coming to Collierville First Baptist Church was one of the greatest things we've ever done as a family.  I know it was God's will for us to do this, and in the two and a half years since, He has blessed us richly with new friends that we've made since being there.  Changing churches is STRESSFUL!  You never realize how much so, until you take the leap of faith required to do it.

~teenagers.  Particularly ninth and tenth grade girls.  (And my teen~aged sons, of course.)  I feel so blessed to be even the tiniest bit involved with these precious girls...and every Sunday morning I get to help out with the tenth grade girls Bible Fellowship Class, and every Sunday night I get to hang out with the ninth grade girls at small group.  Who knew that they would wind up blessing me so much?  They do, though...I love witnessing their personalities and all the little amazing things they do, like reaching out to the new girl, or sharing their love of Jesus with their friends in high school.  I'm telling you, they are pretty amazing.  Here's a picture my friend Abbey took yesterday of us at McAlister's.  We met the tenth grade girls for lunch...the other adults in the pic are Abbey (with the long hair) and Scottie (in the yellow).  I heart them.


These aren't quite all of them, but here are the ones who were able to come.  :)

~Saturday's~although today is a busy one.  I mentioned that I've been up since five.  Let me break down my morning for you: I woke up at five so I could be alert enough to drive my car.  It took two cups of coffee to accomplish that.  I left at 5:45 and drove to our church to pick up Drew, who spent the night there at a lock-in.  He came home, went to bed and woke up Graham.  I made Graham breakfast and coffee and dropped him off at work at 6:55.  I then went to Wal-Mart.  Seriously, I was in and out of there by 7:20.  OH!  And I finished my book in between driving my kids.  I have to wake Drew up at 11:30 so he can shower and get dressed for his junior high social at 12:30 with our homeschool group's student council.  He's the social coordinator and has to be there, otherwise after last night I would tell him he could skip it.

~friends.  Some sweet friends invited us over to their house last night for dinner.  We couldn't stay long, but the time we had was sweet.

~country music videos.  It's my Saturday morning indulgence.  Currently playing: Keith Urban's Little Bit of Everything.

I could go on, but for now, I will stop.  Happy Saturday, my friends.  Are you still out there?  Other than the three I mentioned in a previous post?  If you are, share the love and leave a comment...I'd love to hear what you love.  ;)

Love to all!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Something I can't get over...

My sweet Jesus.

My glorious, mighty, majestic and wonderful Savior and Friend and Creator.

The Author and perfecter of life.

Prince of Peace.

Lord of lords.

King of kings.

Everlasting Father.

The great I am.

I've been singing this song all day, one I saw a video of on Facebook this morning.  I've heard it many times on K-Love, the original version and the version I'm about to share with you.  And I cannot stop singing it, and thinking of how amazing Heaven is someday going to be...how much it already must be for our loved ones who've beat us there.  I hear this song, and I watch these worship leaders and I can only imagine what it will be like.

How beautiful this song must be to God's ears!  People praising Him in different languages, uniting together in Spirit and in truth and worshiping Him wholeheartedly.

And I am in awe of Him.  And humbled by His love for me.  A sinner.  An imperfect being who wouldn't amount to a hill of beans without Him in my life.  I am absolutely nothing, but He is my everything.  And that makes me something.

Someone whom He loves, never gives up on, never leaves, never forsakes, His treasured possession.

If I boast about anything, let it only be about You, Heavenly Father (Romans 5:11).  You are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious and sovereign (1 Chronicles 29:11)!

I have to ask you~do you know Him?  Do you want to?  You know where to find me if you answer yes and want to talk.

Listen and watch and be blessed, my friends.



Love to all.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

our furry kids

My dogs are the cause of some grief for me this week.  I think I deleted part of a sentence in a previous blog about how they were returned to us.  We took them to our vet to be boarded while we were on vacation, and usually, they're very well taken care of.  This time, that was not the case.  Poor Andy's nerves got the best of him, and he mutilated his chin by scratching it to death.  They found it pretty quickly and began treating it, but for the last couple of days we've had to give him Benadryl to help with the irritation.

It's not working very well, and he keeps making it bleed, so today he is getting the dreaded cone of shame.

And I am struggling with this because a dog that we had when I was growing up had this same cone, and shortly after that, the dog died.  He was sick, I'm sure and we just didn't know it, but I can't help thinking and hoping (and praying) that this won't be the case for my Andy the Wonder Dog.  It makes me teary, just typing it.  Drew said the same thing yesterday~"Mom, I want Andy to live forever."  He's getting on up there in age, and as his arthritis worsens, I wonder how much longer he'll have.  I never want this baby to suffer...yet I can't imagine making that kind of decision.

We also discovered that while they were being boarded, the kennel tech(s) did not use their own dog food that we sent.  They used the kennel dog food, and that led to stomach issues the entire time.  Dogs are like newborn babies on formula~if you change it, it makes them sick.  The last thing that broke my heart was that their blankets I had sent returned to us unused.  Seriously...my heart breaks thinking of the time they spent there.  I'm so thankful that the next time we go anywhere, I can count on my in-love's to take care of them for us, at least Andy.  We'll take Crash camping with us, but Andy will stay with them.  

As much as we love our pets, this week, they've been a source of strife for me.  Todd went ahead and brought the cone home for him this morning, because he was miserable.  Because of it, he can't see very well, so we've had to block off our stairs.  He tends to fall down them anyway, and I know the chances of him falling will be greater with the cone.  :(  Your prayers would not be wasted on us today and in the days to follow.  I know it might seem silly to some of you, but our dogs are like our kids with fur.  We do love them and we never want them to suffer.  I pray that his chin heals quickly so we can take the cone off.

Well...how's that for non-vacation?  Just keepin' it real.  Love to all.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Our Final Day of an Amazing Vacation~Saturday

Sigh.  That's how I feel as I write those words.  This trip was amazing and perfect in every way.  I'm kinda sad to be done writing about it!  I'm sure you're happy to be done reading about it~for all three of you read this, Phyllis, Wiley and Bill.  ;)

Our twilight tour ended at eleven, so it was almost midnight before we got back to our hotel in Triangle, Virginia and one a.m. before we finally fell asleep.  Needless to say, we did not jump out of bed the next morning.  We took our time waking up and getting out the door.  Todd was so over packing and unpacking the Suburban.

We went back to the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  We saw the actual museum part, which was really cool and the boys just so happened to be able to play with some fancy schmancy robots in the lobby.  The coolest thing of all is the robot they got to drive outside, though, that we saw on our way out.  This is the type of robot that they use in Afghanistan to test if there are IED's in the road.

And they got to drive it.  Two Marines showed them how to do this, looking over their shoulders as they operated these SIX FIGURE machines.  My heart just skipped a beat.



 After this, we left Triangle and headed back into D.C.  Our only stop: The Arlington National Cemetery.  We saw the final resting places of the Kennedy family and we saw the changing of the guards ceremony twice.  I also shook the hand of a WWII veteran who turned ninety-nine years young yesterday!  I was humbled to be able to do so.

Can I just say how much this gives me chills?



Did you know that they pause for 21 seconds before they begin their walk?  And they pause for 21 seconds before they turn around?  And that they walk exactly 21 steps before stopping and turning again, only to repeat the process all over again?  Do you know where that comes from?  It comes from the 21 gun salute.  Do you know where the 21 gun salute comes from?  The year our country was founded...1776.  If you add together one, seven, seven and six, that gives you...

wait for it...

21.  Pretty nifty, huh?

What an honor to be able to watch this.  We left this amazing place and began the long journey home.

We might have gotten turned around a time or four, but we made our way out of this city and stopped an hour later at a Cracker Barrel for an early dinner.  We made two more stops~one at Walgreens for some nose spray to help Noah breathe and one at Auto Zone so Graham could buy himself a phone holder for my car's window for him to use.

And then, we began our journey home.

Some things I haven't written about:

The cool people we met in Williamsburg, a homeschooling family who encouraged us in the years ahead of us, the fact that the boys became quite the players of ping pong, all the moments of laughter, some moments of frustration and the rest of the memories we'll never forget.

We were blessed, indeed.  Thanks for reading about our time away!  I'm happy to tell you that by 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, we were home safe and sound.  By six p.m. the dogs were back home where they belong, Todd was headed to a call out for the sheriff's department, and the boys and I were seated in front of the television eating our combined Wendy's and Taco Bell dinner, catching up on our recorded shows.

All was well with me...we were back where we belonged.

Love to all.

Friday~Twilight Tour of D.C.

After the retirement ceremony we went to our hotel to change clothes, then headed to Katisha's house.  She chartered a bus to take us on a twilight tour of Washington D.C.  I am so grateful we got to tour this city like this~it was much less crowded and far more beautiful at night!  Here are some pictures of the places we got to see:


The Capitol was our first stop.  This place is so gorgeous that it's almost surreal in person.  It looks fake once you're close by.


Next stop: the White House.  I laugh at this picture, because prior to taking this, Drew really had to go to the bathroom.  We were walking by a hotel that I thought would let him use their facilities.  Turns out it was the Leading Hotels of the World, whatever that is, and they were the snootiest people ever!  They would NOT let Todd or me come in, and even though I wasn't happy with him being shown a bathroom without me nearby, what could I do?  The concierge took him and escorted him back out a few minutes later.  

We got to the White House and Jonah said, "This is it?  It looks so tiny!"  

Out of the mouths of babes.  ;)


This is the World War II memorial.  Breathtaking.


The Washington Monument.  You can't get close to this monument right now because it's under construction.  But isn't it beautiful, all lit up at night?


The Lincoln Memorial.


Our final stop of the evening was at the Marine memorial, Iwo Jima.  

This was, by far, my favorite thing of our trip.  It was so much fun being on the bus with family and the kids had a blast with their cousins, Larissa and Lewis.  Particularly Lewis, who is about as crazy as they come!  ;)  
Love to all.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday~Day Time

We left our condo on this morning and  headed into Triangle, Virginia.  This was the home we enjoyed for the first part of our trip.


The boys loved this place~and the pool, of course.

Triangle, Virginia was the city that Todd's cousin was having her retirement ceremony.  It took place at the National Museum of the Marine Corps...it was really cool.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity we had to attend this ceremony!  I got a little choked up several times.  Imagine that.  Below is a picture of what the outside looked like.



I took a picture of this quote above for my dad, who was a hospital corpsman in the Korean War.

As we were about to leave, an elderly gentleman came over to sit and tie his shoe.  His friend spotted my boys and said that he should get one of them to do it for him.  Graham offered to do this for him, even at the man's refusal.  I happened to catch it on camera:


Turns out this precious man was in Vietnam as a Marine.  He's around the same age as my dad.  Afterward, I asked if I could take their picture.


And if this is blurry, it's because I had tears in my eyes when I took the photo and couldn't see all that well.

It was a really neat experience, seeing Katisha retire from her twenty years of service in the United States Army.  She retired as CW3, which is a Chief Warrant Officer 3.  This also just happened to be the first time that I ever met her.  Here she is below, with the boys and my in-love's.


What an honor to attend her special day this was for all of us.  I'll write more about the second part of this same day later.  Laundry is calling my name...and I have tons of stuff to do this morning.  Love to all!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday

Today was a day of rest for me...I didn't feel that great this morning and just kinda laid around in my pajama's most of the day.  I finally left the condo around three or four to go shopping.

And proceeded to do so for the next three or four hours.

;)



We shopped for so long that Drew and Noah started hanging out with the mannequins to help pass the time.
I think they were delirious.  I know I almost was.


This was our second to last stop.  We were in there forever.

But alas!  The boys all finally used up the money we allotted for them to buy something they wanted.  The only one I have a picture of is Jonah, because he is the one who hasn't taken his prized possession off since we bought it.


Isn't he cute?

We are leaving at nine thirty in the morning and heading into Washington D.C.!  I can't wait!  I'm praying I feel better tomorrow...if you want to pray, too, the prayers would not be wasted.  Thanks and love to all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jamestown Settlement

I am so thankful for the beautiful weather we've had while we've been here.  It's been hot, but thank the good Lord it's been sunny.  I think there's a slight chance of rain here tomorrow night, but that's the only day that there's even a chance.  Today was fun~we spent this one day at the Jamestown settlement.  There's also the Jamestown historical part, but we skipped that one.

We took the scenic route to get there, and I am so glad we did!  We stumbled upon this pretty amazing little beach along the way.  This is near the James River~whatever body of water this is, it is huge.



They felt the water...it felt amazing, but unfortunately, we weren't prepared for them to swim.  We might go back tomorrow.

Once we arrived in Jamestown, we bought our tickets, got the boys signed up to participate in the Coats of Arms class they offered, and we then we settled in for our picnic.


We were all laughing, which is why everyone has funny faces.  ;)

After the boys had their two hour class, we explored.  The first thing we came to was the Powhatan Indian village.  The boys got to go in authentic huts.  


They also saw how they cooked their meals and how they made canoes.


After this reservation, we saw replicas of the ships the early settlers came over on.



This might have been my favorite thing so far.  I love the water, and standing on the ship, looking out over the water was really neat.  I cannot imagine how in the world they crossed the ocean in something so rickety.  It almost gave me chills, standing and looking out over the water.

After this part of our tour, we saw a fort.  I don't know what it was called.  By the time we reached this part, my phone had died.  (Wouldn't you know that I forgot my camera?  All these pictures have been taken with my phone.)  And I was DONE.  With the walking, I mean...I don't want to talk about what kind of shoes I had on.

It was an amazing day.  On tomorrow's agenda is...a day to spend relaxing.  We plan on cooking a late breakfast, using up all the rest of our breakfast food and letting the boys swim to their little heart's content.  I also want the boys to see the College of William and Mary.  Near the college is the downtown area of Williamsburg, which has lots of cool little shops.  Phyllis and I might do a little shopping.

This trip has been amazing, and the boys are having the time of their lives.  We'll check out of our condo Friday morning and will travel into Washington D.C.  Todd's cousin is retiring from the Army, and we'll be attending her retirement ceremony and reception.  After that we are doing a twilight bus tour of D.C.  I am so excited about that!!  The tour will hit all the major tourist spots in the city.  We'll be spending the night in Manassas, Virginia.  Saturday morning, we'll get up and see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and we plan on going to the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian.

After that, we will be hitting the road and heading home.  We'll spend the night somewhere and finish our drive on Sunday.

Whew!  It's been awesome.  And now, I am off to bed...after I finish my ice cream sandwich and diet coke.  ;)  Love to all.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our last day of Colonial Williamsburg

We toured the historical town alone today.  Papa started his morning at the urgent care clinic~praise God nothing is majorly wrong with his foot, but for a bit, we thought it was broken.  Turns out, it's something similar to shin splints.  He was instructed to alternate ice and heat and given a painkiller to help deal with the pain.  Hopefully tomorrow, he'll be good as new.

We started our day at the Governor's palace.


The troops stormed the palace.  The story is that they were mad because he insisted that all their weapons be taken away from them.  Hmmm...sound familiar?




Look at him, pointing to me as if to say, "I'm with crazy."  Whatever!  ;)  Goofy.  We laughed our heads off today over several things~this was just one time of many.


We dined at Chowning's Tavern.  We ate by candlelight...I love this picture of Noah working on a crossword puzzle.


After lunch, the boys participated in something called The Life of a Soldier.  They marched around town and witnessed a canon being fired.  Pretty cool!


I sat under the lovely shade of this tree.  Thank You, Lord, for shade!  It was a pretty humid day...we were so sweaty by three o'clock!


While I waited on them to return to me, I walked around and took some pictures.  I love old fences.  And the picture of the courthouse in the distance is so pretty!


Proof of how hot we were.  Except for Todd.  I swear, he never sweats.  Turns out I sweat a ridiculous amount.  My face gets SO HOT.  And turns three shades of purple...it's kind of embarrassing!

It was another wonderful day.  On tomorrow's agenda is Jamestown!  I can't wait to see the replicas of the ship the early explorers came over on.  I'll post again tomorrow night.  Love to all!