Monday, July 21, 2014

4th of July

I enjoy the 4th of July.  Its fun to celebrate our country and to be reminded of the privilege we have in our freedoms.  Its a time to celebrate all that is good about being an American and a reminder to continue to fight for those freedoms.  

A cute patriotic hairstyle.

We went to Apex in the morning to enjoy the festivities there.  Lots of games including huge slides.
One of them with water in it!  Perfect for a hot day.  Thankfully, the weather has been much milder this year and it was not nearly as hot as it might have been.
Even so we took some breaks in the shade.
Fun family photos.

We met friends there and enjoyed hanging out with them!

One of the local churches has had need games there.  This year it was angry birds.
Fun idea!
We went home and had lunch and packed a picnic.  Eliana's hairstyle was improved upon.  Isn't it cute?
Next, we met friends at the Koka Booth amphitheatre.  They got there early and secured a great spot for all of us.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  There were some games there and we wandered around a bit, but mostly hung out in our "spot".  We played games.  Eliana joined in on Uno.  A reminder to me to try more games and things with her.  I was surprised that she wanted to play and she did a great job.  I just need to offer more opportunities for her to try!
We had a great spread of food to snack on and for a meal.  Love the patriotic eggs.   :)
It was a fun picnic spot and we enjoyed music from the Cary Town Band while we ate.
Lots of patriotic tunes.  Cheers!
These were a huge hit.
Daniel loved piling on the icing.
The NC symphony also played and they were great!  There were soooo many people here!  None of my photos can really capture the crowds.
Christopher and Emily got back from camp and joined us later in the evening.  Quick game of catch-phrase here.
The evening ended with fireworks.  They were beautiful.
And loud.  Eliana spent the entire time with her face buried in Roger's chest.  :(
I took a lot of photos as the bright lights made my eyes water.  Not sure what's up with that.
Delightful day with family and friends!  I couldn't have asked for more.  Thankful for so much and for this time to celebrate.  I hope you had a great time celebrating too!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

A picture from the past

We looked through a lot of pictures while choosing ones to go in Rebecca's slideshow.  Hnnn ...  wonder if I could post that here?  Anyway, it was sweet remembering so many times and places.  And such sweet young faces.

Here is one of my favorites.

Sweet happy time.  We were at a nearby park - Harris Lake - having a great time together on a field trip.  I don't always have a lot of photos of myself in front of the camera and I really like this one.  It really wasn't that long ago, but look how much they have grown up!  :)

Hope you are having a sweet day and enjoying the blessing of people you love in your life!

With affection,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Super hero birthday party for Daniel!

Happy Birthday Daniel!  I can't believe that you are 10 already!  I am delighted by your curiosity, creativity and desire to learn.  I am thankful that you ask questions and are engaged with the world around you.  I am learning more because of the questions that you ask!  I am so thankful for you and love being your mom!  You are an answer to prayer.  I love you and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you!  Love, Mom
 He was very excited that Christopher was able to be home on his birthday since it fell on a Saturday.  First up, was a huge breakfast.  One of our birthday traditions is for the birthday person to choose the food for the day.  Daniel chose bacon, cinnamon rolls, chocolate milk, orange juice and eggs.  Some foods that we don't have too frequently.  :)
 His brothers staged a surprise scenario in order to receive his gift.  This has been something that they have enjoyed creating for several years.  This one is a super hero scene and here is the bad guy waiting.

Spiderman and his accomplice running to meet him.
The fight is on.
I love how they go all out in designing the scene, setting the stage and getting into their roles.  They really make this a fun part of his birthday!
Such a fun theme and Rebecca and Hanna got into the fun of dressing up too.  :)

 We saw so many great ideas for a super hero cake - most of them were way out of my talent and experience league!  Rebecca looked at some though and decided that she could make them!  And she did!  She used the templates here and copied the design onto wax paper using melted colored chocolates.  We then put these on top of the cupcakes.  Her sweet friend Hanna helped make them too.  Don't they look awesome?!
 Another fun picture.
 We played a variety of games from guess how many super heroes in the  jar (Lego ones) to Super Hero Who Am I?  Each person had a symbol on their forehead and had to ask questions to try to figure out who they were.  You can get the printables for these here as well as other great super hero printables.
 We made a huge spider web.  I tied a piece of candy on each end so that each person had a starting place and knew when they were at the end.
 It was trickier than it looked and was fun to watch them get into the web.
 Most of them finished it, but few just gave up without getting to the candy at the end.  It took some work to set up - and for them to go through - but it was fun and worth doing!
 We played a charade game where a super power was acted out and the others had to guess.  Some that we used included the following:
   *sees through walls
   *super strength
   *ability to remove senses (like inflicting blindness)
   *time travel
   *magnetic forces
We found that it really helped to have two people acting things out.  This was fun and went pretty quickly.
 We gathered for cake and then opening gifts.
 Now it was time for another spider game.  I had planned more outside games, but it was forecasted to rain so then we moved plans inside.  It ended up being beautiful though.  This was a game with people in teams and each team tried to get more silly string on the other team.
 The "rules" were loose and a little vague, but that didn't stop the fun at all!
 Silly string is always a hit!
 The last game was a spider race.  Each team/pair had to link arms with their backs facing each other.  Then move from the beginning line forward to a second line and then back again.  Its harder than it looks because one person is always backwards.
 We enjoyed a taco bar for dinner and then watched the Lego movie on the "big screen" (projector onto a sheet).
It was a fun party and what a great theme to work with!  I highly recommend this theme if you have a child that would enjoy it.  Lots of fun!

Delightful day with family and friends celebrating 10 years of life for Daniel!


Monday, July 14, 2014

In just ONE month

My life is going to be changed.  In some ways that I can imagine and in some that will be a surprise.  I have experienced it once thus far, so in some ways, I hope that I am a bit more prepared.  In other ways though, this is going to be totally different.  Its one of the many things that remind me that I can't do this in my own strength and sends me to my knees.

In just one month, we will be taking our beautiful, talented and amazing daughter to college.  I'm so very excited for her.  I'm excited to see what she will learn and experience and what God will be teaching her there.  I have a peace about her going there because I know it is God's plan for her.  While I would have loved for her to be closer to home, I'm happy for her that she will be able to do what she loves - theatre - in a setting that seeks to glorify God.  This was a huge part of her decision to attend Liberty.
I'm going to miss her.  A lot.  Its been a sweet (mostly) 18 years together.  Almost daily - learning, laughing and experiencing life.  (And yes, some of that experiencing involved less pleasant things too.)  I know that her siblings are going to miss her too.  They have already seen the hole that having someone missing creates.
For so many years, my family was growing and increasing in size.  I loved that!  Adding more people is always a joy!  I'm so very thankful for the 6 children I have been blessed to walk this journey with.

 Rebecca - you are a joy!  You have made parenting a daughter seem so easy.  I appreciate your honesty, strength, creativity and initiative.  I have loved watching you grow and mature.  You are going to do great in college.  I know that this is going to be an adventure and its one for which I've been praying for a long time.

I've been praying for your roommate.  What a delight to meet one of them this week-end and to see y'all talking and enjoying each other.  I'm praying that you will become strong friends who laugh and encourage and strengthen each other.  :)

I'm praying for your studies.  Praying that the transition from homeschool to college will be a smooth one for you.  Praying that you enjoy your classes, that you seek help when needed and that your faith will grow as you learn more about God and his plan for you life.

I'm thankful for your creativity and pray that you will find outlets in which to express that.  I'm delighted by your love for children and pray that you will meet others there that you can love on while those who love you here are eager for your return.

I pray that our relationship will grow and deepen even though the miles separate us.  I type this through tears.   Know that I will be praying for you often as you will be always on my heart and mind.  Dream big!  I'm proud of you and am always here for you!

I love you so very much Rebecca!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A quick look at June

This post will just about have me caught up.  :)  This is going to be a whirlwind look at June with the exception of Daniel's birthday which I'll do in a separate post.

We celebrated Father's Day with this silly photo.  We had a more serious one too, but this was just a fun one.  :)  We missed having Christopher here, but the rest did a super job in celebrating their wonderful Dad!

 Rebecca made him a delicious apple crisp (gluten free) which was devoured.  (Not all by him.  LOL)
Our church had a fun evening for graduating seniors and their families.  We enjoyed an encouraging talk, dinner and a time of prayer over the seniors.  
 We loved being able to share this evening with some dear friends of ours.  These two have known each other for many years.  :)  I'm excited to see what plans God has for them!  Rebecca and Andrew, I pray God's blessings on each of you!
 This is Rebecca with our awesome youth pastor.

 One day we enjoyed a beautiful dining experience at our house.  :)  A menu with great variety and a beautifully set table.

Daniel and Isaiah did ALL of the work to pull this off.  It was wonderful.  I'm hoping that they will do a repeat performance for us too!
 We enjoyed Kids Week at our church.  Eliana had Allison as a sweet helper again this year.
 Isaiah, Joshua and Roger helped in the snack area.  It was a fun week for everyone.
 Just a peek at something I found one day.  Yes, those are bite marks in each of these tomatoes.  I just wondered if someone thought the next one would taste different that the last one they bit.  LOL  Not sure what she was expecting.  

Rebecca and I attended her freshman orientation at Liberty.  

It was a full day.  It was helpful to see a room in the same type of building that she will be living in as well as walking to see some of the buildings where her classes will be located.  This is one of the rooms that she has a class in for the fall.
 It was also a nice time to meet some other students and parents.  We toured the new library which is amazing!  We also had several very helpful sessions.
 The day ended with a cook-out and some games.  It was a great visit.  Not too much longer until it will be time to take her there.  I'm so very excited for her and also know that the transition will be challenging too.  We will greatly miss having her here, but I am trusting God that He will equip us because we do believe that this is just where she is supposed to be.
This is a peek at what Eliana's hair will NOT look like in about a month or so.  Super cute and amazing hairstyles mean that Rebecca was doing the work.  I love seeing these beautiful and creative hair styles.

Rebecca is in a musical this summer - Suessical for any readers that are local and want more info, let me know.  She has many rehearsals.  One of the perks has been that I have been able to take very long walks (2+ hours) with a dear and long time friend.  It has been sweet to have the time to talk and encourage each other and I'm thankful for this unexpected blessing this summer.

 While the path ahead is not completely clear, I'm thankful to know the One that knows what lies ahead.  I'm thankful for family and friends who join me and make the days sweeter.  I'm thankful to God for guiding, directing, comforting and encouraging me whether the days are easy or challenging.

Hoping that your summer has been filled with sweet memories.  We are enjoying the pool, playing games and reading books.