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Friday, July 29, 2016

Deadline approaching

We are trying to squeeze out all the summer fun we can in these last few days. I feel like we have a deadline approaching as Adam and I go back to inservice on Monday. We are all actually excited to go back to school but maybe not the school schedule. I know my kids are ready to see their friends after last night's back to school ice cream social. They were squealing with delight as they saw their friends and BEGGING to sit with them, play with them. Its always so good to see friends and hug necks and catch up.
I feel like I may have an easy beginning of the year...which I have never had. I am not in charge of a huge art competition this year. I am not teaching any new curriculum or (despite what I thought) not taking on any new responsibilities. In fact I turned down a new position just last week and I am honestly quite proud of myself for saying NO and protecting my time.
The only new part of this year will be my new teaching partner in 8th grade bible. I have taught with the same guy for the last 6 years and he is moving on to another position. The new teacher though comes with lots of experience and a bible degree!!!! Many other teachers already knew him, in fact some people at our school were taught my him when they were in high school! I am excited to teach with him and I think it will be a smooth transition.

Its hard to believe we will have a 6th grader, 1st grader and PK4 year old!!! They are all anxiously awaiting their postcard to tell them who their homeroom teacher is. I have my guesses based on who winked at me last night at the ice cream social or who whispered secrets into my kiddos ears yesterday at the teacher pool party....there are perks to being a teachers kid!!!!

Dauphin Island Sea Lab was so neat. We stood at this table and touched everything. We listened to all kinds of neat stories about all the creatures we were touching.

Do you see Christ on the cross in this skull?

Hurricane machine...they thought this was fun!

Fort Gaines. My dad is covering up the "dirty word". HA!

I love this picture of my parents with the kiddos and beautiful background!

They kept telling the kids that we were not going to be able to drive back over the bridge to go home. They didn't understand until we got on the ferry in our van and headed across Mobile Bay! It was really fun!

My sweet hubby!

Overlooking the estuary at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Ribbit loves getting her nails done with CC.

The boys got their hair done by my dad. They love using Uncle Chris's products that he left when he moved out :). They also like to wrap themselves and my dad up in ace  bandages. Then my grandparents came over and got some "cool dude" advice from my Papa.

I love this sweet picture. We had a great afternoon visiting and getting my grandparents a "smart TV". OH WHAT A STORY THAT IS ;).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last week of summer (for mom)

This is my last full week of summer...then 1.5 weeks of inservice. The kiddos start back on the 11th.

I am trying to get a lot done for my classes, finish projects around the house and make sure the kiddos suck all the fun left out of summer....thus this past weekend that contained 2 birthday parties for friends and then Ribbit's 7th birthday party at our home. Her birthday is in August but its crazy hard to do a party when its back to school time!

The kids got to swim, slide down waterslides, have a snow ball fight, play at a gymnastics center, perfect their front and back flips off the diving boards (yes I did have a heart attack in the pool and had to rely on a pool noodle to keep me afloat....Ribbit is so stinking brave and her head came within 1/2 inch of the diving board), cupcake decorating, painting, playing in the sprinkler with our neighbors, showing all of our friends the chickens, church (finally back in our home church after 3 Sundays in 3 different, but all great churches) and two oil meetings with our neighbors. You could tell the kiddos were tired as they asked to skip showers and go straight to bed at 6:15 last night!

I have mixed emotions about returning to the school schedule. I LIVE for a schedule, to have structure, to be prepared....but this summer was nice since we had our own schedule at home and we didn't live by the school bell schedule every day. Sometimes I feel like preparing lesson plans takes less brain activity than planning a fun afternoon with my 3 kiddos at home :).

I am currently sitting in the large window seats at the public library watching all 3 kids read. They are all earning prizes for the summer reading program and we LOVE to come take up a big seat and read for 1-2 hours. The librarian took our picture the other day and said we looked so comfortable....we are..the window seats are warm and we can take turns reading aloud or silently....its so nice. I will definitely miss this time when school starts!

Adam and I celebrated 9 years of marriage this past weekend..and it quite comical. We had decided to go to a nice restaurant in Grapevine that several friends had recommended. BUT, throw in a day of baking cupcakes and a cake for Ribbit's party, cleaning the whole house, decorating the whole house....Adam finished all of the backsplash in the kitchen plus worked at the school some. SO, when we looked up and saw it was 2:30 and the babysitter was coming at 3 and were both NASTY we decided to throw on "clean clothes", wash our hands and go get sushi instead ;). We went to a new (to us) place in Grapevine and it was YUMMY! Then in old people fashion we went shopping for a new mini-van and then window shopped for our children in downtown Grapevine....it was so romantic though, strolling through Grapevine, holding hands and not yelling " watch out, that car will squash you like a bug".."no you can't have that candy or toy"...."you have to hold my hand when we are walking"...."stop touching your brothers butt, stop hitting your sister, stop picking your nose, stop kicking your bubba, etc, etc"

My sweet hubby built me an oil box....my tupperware wasn't cutting it anymore!

A paleo blueberry cobbler...this is what was let so I think it was a hit...and then Adam gladly finished it off! These blueberries are from my grandparents bush!

Making peppermint brownies with CC

They both chose to build a bear for their birthday present from CC and Papa....Its definitely not Big Man's birthday but you can't leave him out :).
We have developed a tradition of going to Sam's Fun City when we come home for the summer. Aunt Robin and Uncle Carl are always so kind to treat us to a day of fun...with a big breakfast at Ihop before!!

CC also treated them dippin dots...Fun day!!

I love when they "dress alike"..meaning cut off shirts and basketball shorts. Big Man wants to be just like his big bubba!

Hanging out at the water park!

Alligator slide!

Uncle Discipline is now Uncle AWESOME!!!!

You are never too big for the alligator slide!
I am so thankful for my kiddos, our home, our family, our jobs and our church family. Summer is a a good time to remember how thankful I am as we travel and spend a lot of time at home together. I was just thinking about how scary our world is,...its sickening........ but not for my kids...they know love everywhere they go. They live in a bubble where people love Jesus, love them, support them, cheer for them, pray for them. I know other views and other attractive looking ideas will come into their lives soon enough and I pray that they will have the strength to be persistent in their walk with God and faithful to what he has called us to be on this earth. I pray that will be godly Men and Women, take on the biblical family and strive to pass on Jesus to the next generation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Arkansas


We just spent 4 days in Arkansas with my brother and sister in law. This was our 3rd trip there and feel like we are starting to know their area pretty well. The kids love knowing what states we are crossing into as we drive. We stopped on the way up at Eisenhowers birthplace and learned a lot about his life and presidency. We asked a local where we should eat and went to Nick’s café right down the road. Adam was stocked as they had fried catfish, one of his favorite foods!!! Everything there was very good and the kids meals were huge, meaning they had plenty to snack on the rest of the drive. We were trying to give Chris and Micah a little bit of rest time as they got in from children’s camp around 2:30 that day…they are children’s pastor at a church. We rolled in around 5:30 and we made dinner for them as they were exhausted.
We woke up Sunday and headed to church with them. They get so excited to see their Aunt and Uncle in action…and the fact that Adam and I don’t stick around. Oh yeah, it was also my 32nd birthday so I got to choose lunch. We went to Newk’s which is like Panera but better. I got the best Ahi Tuna salad…and it was huge..Ribbit had to help me finish it. We then walked over to Game Stop and let Goober spend his birthday money. From there we went back to their home and hung out and caught on up on life until it was time to go to the WATERPARK. Their church had rented out a city waterpark and from 6-8:15 we swam. The kids loved the lazy river of course, the slides, doing flips but mostly just being around the aunt and uncle. I liked seeing my family in their roles, serving the community and each other..I liked hearing others brag on them and seeing how they are getting involved.
I need to also mention that every morning I ran around Chris and Micah’s sweet little neighborhood. I tried to stay out until right when I thought the kids would wake up. On my birthday morning I finished my run and walked outside while on the phone with my mom trying to let everyone sleep in. It was so sweet when my kids came out the front door and told me to come…they and Daddy had made me breakfast and wanted to give me presents. Adam got me a QALO ring….we match now! Mine is bright orange and I love it…I can’t even feel it and its perfect for working out!
Anyways, the morning after the waterpark I finished my run and gathered the kids in their bedroom. I downloaded Looney Tunes on my phone and we did an “ole timey” morning with cartoons and breakfast in bed. They were quiet until 9 and then I unleashed them into the house. The 2 littles went straight to Micah and Chris’s room and got in bed with them to “nuggle”. We had a lazy morning and ate 3 rounds of breakfast. Then we headed to downtown Bentonville, to a favorite coffee shop, Onyx. I LOVE their butternut squash latte but it’s a seasonal thing. So I got a cold lavender honey latte with coconut milk….OH MY WORD…do fantastic. We walked into some of the downtown stores and got presents for upcoming birthdays. Then to my surprise Micah and I got into their car and headed to the SPA!!! She and Chris had already given me my birthday present, an awesome soft t-shirt that says Jesus over Everything. Micah and I had a great time being girly at the spa and both had the best time relaxing. The boys took the kiddos to a BB Gun museum and we all met up for a late lunch at Slim Chickens. After lunch and a great conversation on marriage we headed to the park. We played, rode bikes and walked through the creek. Then we decided to go fishing at a local pond. One of my former students, who now attends U of A met us there and we all caught up while the kids (and Adam) caught nothing but trees, bushes and each other. We decided that dinner should be ice cream and headed to TCBY.
We got in late, put the kids to bed and the 4 of us settled in to watch House Hunters and Beach Front Bargain homes…we LAUGHED SO HARD at each others jokes about house hunting and then to our surprise a couple came on looking for a home where Chris and I grew up!!! We laughed so hard at their accents and how they really were typical Alabamians….it was great.
We left this morning as they were leaving for work. We wanted to do some hiking since our last hike in AR was beautiful. On the suggestion of my student we went to Devils Den and had a beautiful morning hike. It was shady, there were several caves and crevices that were chilly, 2 or 3 waterfalls and just a great hike for the kiddos. We hope to get home before dinner tonight and get ready to conquer the dentist, 3 birthday parties (including Ribbits), finishing the kitchen remodel (yes, we are close. I just have to paint 4 doors and Adam has one wall of backsplash to put up), an anniversary to celebrate and all the last minute things to be done before school starts!!!!

Ribbit keeps asking “what has been your favorite trip this summer? The cruise, Alabama or Arkansas”. We honestly can’t pick….seeing family trumps everything an relaxing with my little family on the cruise was amazing. We asked them what their favorite thing about the Arkansas trip was and they said…

Goober-sliding with Uncle Chris at the waterpark and going to their church
Big Man-Seeing people get baptized at the waterpark (that was neat, seeing about 10 kids be baptized in the middle of a busy waterpark!) and going to game stop (hehe, he loves seeing what his older bubba gets)
Ribbit-the slides at the waterpark and getting ice cream
Dad-talking about marriage with Chris and Micah and the BB Gun museum
Mom-the Spa (DUH) and getting my Onyx drink 

More pictures from our time in Alabama last week!
 
I thought this was so stinkin funny when I saw it after my run. I normally run this shopping center when we are in Huntsville because it always busy, regardless of the time. I was so engulfed in the podcast I was listening to that I just ran without thinking and then I ran past my van!

Sparklers at the cabin with cousins

Kayaking with Captain out on the lake.

Goobers birthday present from Lolly and Captain...a much wanted and very deeply discounted drone...as you can see little bubba likes it just as much!

Telling Nana Harvell something very important!

Yep...I ran a 4:42 mile...I was aiming for a 4:44 for the fourth...I promise you I died right after this on the grass in the church parking lot.

My sweeties on the 4th at the lake!

A little fishin...we caught the neighbors peer, the boathouse, seaweed and almost cousin Olivia!!!

Cousin Olivia makes the best raft!

Daddy and his kiddos out on the lake

Momma likes to swim in water that she can what is on the bottom....I get in when I HAVE TOO!!!

Kayaking with captain

Family time at the lakehouse


Thursday, July 14, 2016

I can't sleep...meh

Tonight was my biggest oil class yet. Overwhelming? Yes. Exciting? Yes! I love sharing what oils can do for families. I love sharing how I am not scared to let my kids use the oils themselves. I love that I skip full aisles at the grocery store now. I love that I am med free....like no advil, no nothing. I love that my husband and kids are using them just as much and love them too.

It just felt good to have 9 of my girlfriends here listening and getting excited about introducing their families to oils too. It feels good to share something good. Its not nearly as important as sharing Jesus, like not even on the same spectrum.....but same idea...when you know of something good, you gotta share it with others.

BUT, because it was soo good, I got all worked up and now I just can't sleep. I tried, but my mind thought of several different things I forgot to tell my girlfriends so I sent out emails and A to Z guides. I just want them to feel empowered in their own homes and know how to help their families.

So 1:30 am is as good a time as ever to write a blog post eh? Plus, I have a dentist appt. tomorrow, surely I can catch some zzzzzzzzz's during my cleaning ;).

Tonight, we disciplined Ribbit so hard that it hurt us. She has been told for at least a year now to CLEAN her room. I am not exaggerating when I say that she shoves trash, dirty clothes and food into little piles around her room and hides them. We have been talking to her about lying with a little more disappointment and reminding her that when she asked Jesus to come live in her life that she asked him to hold her accountable of her sins. Well, after lying to us for the 5th straight time about her room being cleaned...only for us to find 3 pair of dirty underwear in the book case and a SLEW of NASTINESS shoved under her bed we had IT!! So instead of going with the boys and Daddy to see Finding Dory...she had to stay home during my oil class. She cried her heart out. It broke both of her parents hearts...it didn't help when Adam got to the theater and realized they had recliner seats and the whole theater to themselves.

She got the message though and from the time they left until about 1 hour into the class she was hauling booty and putting things in the trash. My girlfriend remarked that Ribbit was getting down on her hands and knees to get under her bed. I JUST LAUGHED AND LAUGHED. She eventually brought me a piece of paper that said "Ribbit's Room". It has 4 line items with 4 checks beside them. They said 1-Dirty Clothes, Check. 2-Closet, Check 3-Under Bed-Check 4-Trash, Check. HAHAHAH..she checked her own self off!

I watched part of a funeral for one of the police officers killed in Dallas last week. It was so stinkin sad. I was glad to see that they honored his family, the other officers and God. It broke my heart to watch his son lay on his dad's casket though. Makes me long for heaven but determined to raise my kids up to be strong christians in this modern day Babylon we live in.

Here are some more pictures from our road trip....Full day in Frankin and Nashville

We did the total tourist thing and started the day off with Frothy Monkey...the kids had a chocolate banana smoothie and I had a Coconut Milk Latte...Adam had something that put him in warp speed!

We could not get over how pretty this church was in downtown Franklin..those stained glass windows are beautiful!

In the middle of the roundabout we explored cannons and statues...Goober is on a WW2 kick right now so this was right up his alley!

Family selfie action

The old Franklin Theatre

We found the best and liveliest farmers market downtown at The Factory. We ate our way through samples of meats, veggies, dips, drinks, kefir....you name it. And there were two crazy long lines for 4 sisters bakery and the donut truck..GEESh

Tasting local honey

The Factory!!

We went to a popular BBQ restaurant to meet some of Adams friends from high school and I noticed they had cheer wine. I never give our kids caffeine but CHEERWINE...hello, memories of my summers spent in NC came flooding in and I knew Goober would enjoy this cherry Dr. Pepper tasting drink. He wanted Uncle Chris to know that he opened it in a special way too...???

The Chessers. Such a sweet couple! Their wedding was one of 

We met up with Lolly at Lipscomb and she and Adam shared some college memories with us.

The Parthenon was a lot bigger and honestly really cool..was not expecting that!

Posing as statues at the Parthenon...those gymnastic lessons are paying off

We had to see the Bluebird Cafe while in Nashville...I mean I HAD TOO!!!!! They didn't open until 5:30 though that night ..

Don't worry...I gave myself a look see anyways....left some nice face prints on their glass.

My sweet sweet boy saw me looking at a purse in a shop in downtown.....He flew outside, asked his dad for his birthday money and ran back in to buy it for me...I never knew it was happening..what a thoughtful gift!

Being silly in front of a mural in downtown!