Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beasley Camping Trip 2011

Neither Terry nor I grew up doing a lot of camping, but I went to church camp a lot and loved it and have enjoyed the times I went camping in college and then a couple times after Terry and I got married.  Terry on the other hand is not much for camping.  Last summer though we decided to put our tent up in the backyard and show the boys and from that moment Isaac decided he wanted to go camping and I was right there with him.  I thought it would be a fun family activity, but Terry wasn't sure how the boys would do and thought we should try camping in the backyard first.  Since Hayden was just turning one at the time I agreed that we would just stay in the backyard that summer.  So, Isaac and I camped in the backyard one night.  We roasted marhmallows and made smores, played, read books, and laid under the stars while Terry and Hayden camped inside.  It was a lot of fun.
After getting our Stone Mountain memberships last summer and hearing that they had a great place to camp (where you wouldn't have to rough it too much) we decided we would go the following summer.  We knew we wanted to go before it got too hot so when we looked at our calendars we decided that Good Friday would be the perfect time to go since Isaac was off from school and so was Terry.  Friday morning Terry and the boys went to Walmart to get food and other camping supplies while I finished packing.  Although we had decided to only go for one night there was a lot to think about and pack since this was our first time.  We had a small air mattress for Isaac, but debated about where Hayden would sleep.  We thought about getting an air mattress for him, but since he has never slept in anything except a crib or pack n play we decided this wasn't the occasion to experiment with something different so we packed the pack n play.  We got to Stone Mountain about 1:30 and set up our campsite.  The boys wanted to help daddy set up the tent briefly, but then they were more interested in exploring the area.  It was great to see them run around and yell and know that they could be outdoors which they love for the next 24 hours.  After we got out campsite set up we decided to take advantage of a couple of the many things to do at Stone Mountain.  The top three things on Isaac's to do list were to go to the Great Barn (an indoor play area), go to the top of Stone Mountain, and go on a ride called Ride The Ducks.  We had heard that you get somewhat wet on the Ride The Ducks so we decided to save that for Saturday.  We first visited the Great Barn.  The Great Barn is full of soft foam balls that you can shoot at each other as well as things to climb on, slides, etc.  We next headed over the get on the gondola to go to the top of Stone Mountain, but we found out that they stop it at 5:00 and it was already 4:00 by this time and the line was long.  Plus it was a very cloudy and cool day and we decided this would also be best saved for Saturday.  So we went to the ropes course which Hayden was a little small for, but we enjoyed watching daddy and Isaac do it and Isaac conquered a fear from last summer, the zipline.  After being at the ropes course for awhile we decided to go back to our campsite and have dinner.  We grilled hot dogs and french fries and had a great dinner together.  We then went over the playground that was amongst all the campsites.  The weather was much cooler then we expected and it actually started sprinkling a little bit, but the boys had a great time playing with all the kids that were there.  The rain stopped so we went back to our campsite and attempted to start a fire.  We didn't have much wood, but Terry tried to get it going.  We had trouble getting it started, but I refused to give up.  I love roasted marshmallows and smores and knew this just had to be part of our memories (I get a plan in my head and have a hard time letting it go :) so I went to the camp store and got a fire starter.  Thankfully the fire starter worked and we roasted marshmallows and hard our smores.  We then got the boys pjs on and started settling in.  Tradition at home is for the boys to watch a show before they go to bed to wind down and although we were camping we decided to let them still do this on daddy's Ipad.  It was fun to snuggle together and watch a video.  I wasn't sure how they would do with going to sleep, but they were both so worn out that they went right to sleep.  Terry brought Scrabble for he and I to play, but we were so cold we decided to get in our bed to stay warm.  Terry went to bed and after playing around on Facebook for awhile I went to sleep as well.  Unfortunately I kept waking up either because I was sniffling because of my allergies or because my face was cold.  We knew we wanted to go camping before it got too hot, but we never expected it to be as cold as it was.  I didn't sleep well, but it was worth it for all the good memories we made.  Hayden called for us at 6:20 and wouldn't lay back down so Terry brought him in bed with us.  He snuggled up and fell right back to sleep.  Isaac woke up at 7 and wanted to get up, but we convinced him to lay in bed with us for awhile.  He never fell back asleep and kept asking us to get up, but we managed to lay in bed until 8.  As I was trying to fall asleep the night before I realized that I had forgotten the syrup for the pancakes that Terry was going to make for us.  When I told Terry this the next morning he quickly insisted that we go to McDonalds for breakfast, but I was adamant about sticking to the camping experience.  He even got Isaac to chant McDonalds as well, but I explained that we had other food such as bacon and fruit and didn't need to go anywhere.  I finally said I wouldn't stop them from going, but I was going to stay and eat at the campsite.  Terry of course wouldn't hear of that and suggested that the camp store might have some syrup.  Terry checked it out and to his disappointment they not only had syrup, but it was light syrup :(  He decided to grant me my wish and made us pancakes and bacon.  Have I ever mentioned what an awesome husband I have  :)  He didn't like the syrup, but admitted the pancakes were better than McDonalds. :) After breakfast we packed up our campsite and headed over to do some more activities.  We didn't have a lot of time because we needed to get back home to get ready for a friend's birthday party so we asked Isaac if he would rather go to the top of Stone Mountain or do Ride The Ducks.  He chose Ride the Ducks since he had been to the top of the mountain before.  This is a boat that can also travel on land.  It takes you on a tour of Stone Mountain and then you splash into the water and take a short boat ride.  We brought towels thinking we would get wet, but we didn't go into the water very quickly and didn't get wet at all.  It was still a fun ride though that we all enjoyed.  They gave everyone a duck bill shaped duck call that was loud, but fun.  The captain let the kids take turns driving the boat which Hayden declined, but Isaac enjoyed.  I would say our first camping experience was a success!  The boys handled camping well and had a great time, Terry said from a noncamper's percspective he had a good time, and we made wonderful memories!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Retreat blessings

I have always loved retreats because you get away from the craziness of day to day life, you spend time with old friends and make new friends, and you get reenergized!  That is what happened last weekend at the Campus' Womens' Retreat and for that I am very thankful.  Terry had a math tournament at GACS on Saturday so Marjorie came in town to help with the boys.  She arrived about 12:30 on Friday and as soon as we got back from picking Isaac up from preschool I packed up and took off.  Hayden had woken up at 5am that morning and has been waking up before 6 often lately so I was tired and wanted to rest before the retreat began.  A few months ago I was asked to be a small group leader at the retreat.  I have never been a small group leader before and although I was honored to be asked and excited to step out of my comfort zone and do something new I was also a little nervous.  There would be 6 ladies in my group and I only really knew two of them.  Although I am generally not shy (actually the opposite I would consider myself talkative and outgoing) I can be a little self conscious when I am around people I don't know or when I am in a role that I am not completely comfortable with.  I knew though that if I prepared the best I could, prayed about it, and let God take control that everything would go smoothly and it did!  The first group was brief and gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to each other as well as talk about the names of God.  The first group went okay, but afterward I was criticizing myself (in my head) for the way I said things.  I continued to pray though that I would just be in the moment, that the Spirit would fill me, and that God would work through me and the rest of the group times were wonderful.  The 2nd small group discussion was about falling in love with Jesus.  I began the discussion intending to apologize to everyone for my bad habit of talking fast by telling everyone that my best friend reminded me that I talk fast and somehow that led into a discussion about Terry and how we met (I hadn't planned to talk about that at all).   I soon realized that what I was talking about led perfectly into the ice breaker question about falling in love.  That small group time was my favorite.  We sat outside because the weather was beautiful and we all enjoyed being outside in God's beautiful design and everyone really let their guards down and shared.  It was beautiful (yes I realize that I just used beautiful 3 times! :).
I have a bad habit of being long winded and telling a lot of details and that goes for when I am writing as well so I am going to try and write the rest of this blog by just mentioning what I consider highlights from the weekend.
*I roomed with my best friend and got to spend a lot of time with her which is something that is pretty rare these days.
*I roomed with Dawn, a friend who I think a lot of and enjoy spending time with.
*I roomed with Paige, someone who I had never met, but enjoyed getting to know.
*I learned more names of God then I knew before.  It is so awesome that he reveals his character to us through all of these different names.
*I had a late night snack at one of the hotel restaurants with good friends.  We enjoyed good conversation and a singer and piano player who was performing there.  A lot of the ladies from the retreat were there and really got into the fun music.
*Laying in bed staying up til 2am talking.
*Singing beautiful worship songs.
*Sitting outside in God's beautiful creation with my small group and having a great conversation about falling in love with Jesus.
*Getting to know Maggie and realizing that she might be the answer to my prayer to find someone to watch the boys next school year.
*Spending personal time with God.  Saturday evening we individually went through four stations, reading scripture posted on a path outside, praying with an Elder's wife, writing prayers of adoration and confession and nailing them to a cross, and listening to worship music and reading the names of God and what they mean.
*Hearing Annabelle talk about seeking His face day to day.  A couple points that she made that I liked were to reflect on your life by using the 3 Cs.  What are you talking about in Conversation, what does your calendar look like (how are you spending your time), and what does your checkbook look like (what are you spending your money on).  She also talked about how many of us like Facebook, but how about spending some face (seeking him) book (in His Word) time with God.

Okay, so I don't know if it was much shorter that way, but it was a little easier.  I am very thankful for all the people who put so much time, energy, and heart into planning the retreat.  It was a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Karaoke, Basketball, and the Circus

The weekend before last we had quite an eventful weekend.  Friday night we had plans to watch Terry play in a basketball game at GACS.  This was the annual GACS Faculty versus Legendary Globe Trotters Game.  Terry plays in a basketball league, but most of his games are late so the boys don't get to see him play very often.  The game didn't start until 7pm so we had planned to go out to eat as we usually do on Friday nights.  Friday afternoon I was sitting outside with Hayden while he played just before picking Isaac up from preschool.  I was looking at an Atlanta Parent magazine and came across an ad for a restaurant on the square of Lawrenceville called Singing Bean.  It mentioned that they had kids karaoke every Friday night from 6-8.  I immediately thought of Isaac.  Isaac has always loved music, singing, and being on a stage!  I thought this would be something fun and different to do so I told Terry that we should go for a little while before his game.  Isaac of course lit up when I picked him up from school and told him about it.  We got there at 5:30 thinking we could eat before the karaoke started.  We sat down in the karaoke room and Isaac immediately wanted to know when the karaoke was going to start.  He had never done karoake before, but we explained what it was and he was ready!  A couple young girls came in with their parents.  One was probably 6 or 7 and the other was probably 10 or 11 years old.  I started second guessing my decision to come as I reminded myself that Isaac couldn't read and therefore wouldn't be helped by the words on the screen.  He seemed a little intimidated, but still ready to sing so I started looking through the book of songs and trying to think what he could sing.  I saw that they had "This Is The Day" and smiled knowing that was a worship song he liked.  I thought that he could sing that with a little bit of help from us.  However, when the song started I quickly realized that it was a different version then the one we were used to.  So, he stepped down so we could think of another song.  The younger of the two girls started singing a popular hit song and did well for her age.  Isaac really watched her and I wondered again if this was a good idea.  He still wanted to sing so I decided we better stick to a song that he knows all the words to, a real kid song.  So, I suggested Old MacDonald.  Now if we were at home he would never want to sing that song on his stage, but I think he felt as I did that he better stick to a song that he really knows.  When it was his turn and the music started he proudly started singing.  Terry and I stood in the back taking pictures and trying to record it with our phones while at the same time singing along with him so he would know which animal was coming up next.  Everyone clapped and as soon as he got off the stage he asked if he could sing another one.  After the girls had another turn he got back up on stage and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Another family had come by this time and everyone was so sweet cheering for him.  By this point Terry had to leave to go to his game, but Isaac pleaded for one more song so he sang Jesus Loves Me.  I love that he sang this one because it is what I have been singing to both the boys since they were born.  I was really surprised and impressed that he didn't hesitate a bit about getting up on stage in front of a group of people that he didn't know.  I kept telling him how great he did and how proud I was of him on the way to the basketball game.  He seemed proud of himself as well.  I think we will be returning to the Singin Bean!

As I mentioned earlier every year some of the faculty at GACS play the Legendary Globe Trotters.  We got there shortly after the game had started and quickly spotted our friend Sara with her two little boys.  Her son Henry is Hayden's age and they are in Bible class together and she has a little boy named Cole who is just 3 months old.  Henry, Isaac, and Hayden enjoyed playing on the bleachers together.  We would point out when the daddys were playing and had the ball and they would cheer.  We were sitting right behind the players and Isaac often tried to talk to his daddy and decided to help himself to the players' water.  It was fun to see Terry play, but we were only able to stay until half time as it was past the boys bedtime and still had to drive home and get them in bed.  We told daddy bye as well as Sara and her boys and headed for home.  On the way to the car Isaac talked about what a great basketball player daddy is.

On Saturday we took the boys to the circus for the first time.  Mimi and Papaw got us all tickets for Christmas.  I was really excited because I looked forward to seeing their reactions and because it brought back memories from childhood.  I went to the circus one year for my birthday and invited a few friends.  I think it was maybe my 8th birthday.  They invited me to the ring and let me ride on one of the elephants!  I am going to find those pictures and I will post them.  I had heard that there was a pre-show for kids so I wanted to get there early.  From the minute we walked into the arena Isaac was a little nervous and asked daddy to hold him.  He knew there would be clowns which he isn't crazy about and he didn't know what else to expect.  Terry did convince him to walk and hold his hand.  We found our seats and I was a little disappointed to look down on the floor and see how chaotic the pre-show was.  There were three different rings with shows going on and tons of people walking around trying to see everything.  Since there were so many people it was hard to see much of anything.  We picked up some clown noses and Hayden got a circus tattoo on his arm.  Shortly after Hayden and I went back to our seats the show got started.   I think Isaac was immediately in awe as they started with a circus parade.  There was so much to look at that it was hard to take it all in.  Hayden seemed to enjoy it as well as first, but it didn't keep his attention as well as I thought it would.  He quickly wanted to move around.  It might have partly been because we had already been there for an hour for the pre-show.  The show was quite spectacular.  The prices were as well!  We knew snacks and such would be expensive, but they were even more so then we expected.  A large lemonade was $10.  So, we all shared one and guarded it like it was gold so that it didn't get spilled.  I think Terry was in awe of the show as much as anyone.  He was constantly pointing things out to Isaac.  It was cute to see them glued to the action and trading comments.  I regretted not hearing those comments and seeing more of the show because I was wrestling with our little monkey.  All in all though we had a great time and it was a great family memory!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Valentine's Day to Remember

Once again more time has passed then I would like between blog entries, but I guess that is what happens when you work part time and take care of two little boys (and a husband :).  I also want to go back and add pictures to some of my blog posts sometime.  And I want to learn more about blogging and I want to.... I could go on and on, but I won't because as I said in a previous post I am trying to be better about just living in the moment.  When I think back over what we have done in the past couple weeks one of the things that stands out the most in my memory is Valentine's Day.  Now traditionally Terry and I don't do a lot for Valentine's Day.  We usually get each a card and some candy, but it is not a big deal for either of us.  We see it more as a commercial holiday.   However, this year a couple who are mentors in our Bible class invited couples to their home for Valentine's Day and let us know that they wanted to serve us dinner.  Cynthia and Geoff's children are grown, but they remember how hectic life can be with little ones.  Knowing how thoughtful and giving they are I knew that it would be a nice evening, but it was much more than that.    As we all arrived (5 couples) they took our coats and brought us a drink.  We immediately felt relaxed and pampered.  Although we were there with our friends whom we enjoyed spending time with they asked each couple to pick their own table.  They had 5 tables set up around their home decorated beautifully.  Terry and I chose the table in the family room by the fireplace.  They brought us shrimp cocktail and bread followed by salad and then steak and asparagus.  Then we had cake, chocolate covered strawberries, and coffee.  The food was wonderful!  It was so nice to sit back and relax, have a nice meal, and more importantly quiet time with Terry.  We actually got to have an uninterrupted conversation!  It felt a little uncomfortable to have our friends whom we look up to wait on us, but I knew that it was something they really wanted to do.  I kept thinking, this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for us!  I told Geoff and Cynthia this and Cynthia told us that when their kids were very young and they were waiting for their house to be built they stayed with another couple for awhile.  Geoff and Cynthia were both working and taking care of their kids not to mention under the stress of having a house built.  One evening they came home to find that their friends had put the kids to bed and had prepared a nice meal for Geoff and Cynthia out on their back deck.  They expressed how much that meant to them and how they wanted to do the same for other couples.  I pray that Terry and I will do the same.  I pray that we will remember how special this night was to us and do the same for other couples someday.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Allergies, Painting, and Spiderman

I haven't written in a couple weeks so I want to get caught up on what we have been up to.   Two weeks ago an allergy doctor confirmed that Hayden is allergic to nuts and almonds.  When we were visiting Angela and her family after Christmas I let Hayden try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  He didn't eat very much of it, just mainly played with it.  A few minutes after he got down from his booster seat Terry noticed that he was rubbing his eyes.  I first assumed that he was just tired, but then Terry said he was fussy and then noticed hives on his face and that his eyes were swollen.  We knew that we hadn't given him anything out of the ordinary other than the peanut butter so we knew that that must be what he was reacting to.  We immediately called the Cliffords' pediatrician who asked us some questions and told us to give him some benadryl.  Thankfully that did the trick and his face slowly cleared up.  So, a couple weeks ago we took him to an allergy doctor who did a skin test which confirmed his allergy to nuts and they also did a nut panel and he mildly reacted to the almond.  We knew after the incident at Angela's that he was likely allergic, but it was nice to get a definite answer and talk to an expert about what we need to do.  Fortunately, his allergy isn't so severe that he can't be in the same room as peanuts.  She said that he can sit next to Isaac while he has a PB&J.  We were given a prescription for an EpiPen, but I pray that we never have to use it.  I don't think it will be too big of a deal when we are at home because we can read labels, but I am a little worried about when he is out of our sight especially as he gets older.  Dr. Sheerin (the allergy doctor) also recommended that we get some blood work done that will give her some information that she will track every year to see if he outgrows this allergy.  I was dreading getting the blood work done because I assumed he would scream the whole time and I didn't want to watch him go through the nurse trying to find a vein, him squirming and screaming, etc.  Even though I was dreading it I just wanted to get it over with so I scheduled the appointment for last Wednesday.  To my amazement, he didn't scream.  He didn't even cry!  He obviously wasn't happy about it and squirmed just a little, but he was great and I was thankful to have a good nurse.  The blood work showed that his allergy is moderate to severe.  He is too young to be able to tell whether he will outgrow it, but we will have him tested again next year.

Last weekend I painted the living room.  Last Spring we turned our dining room into a playroom since it was rarely used as a dining room and I painted it green.  I started thinking about what color I wanted to paint the living room then.  I put a couple colors on the wall to try out, but after painting the playroom I wasn't ready to tackle another room for a while.  I finally got tired of looking at my paint swatches in the living room and decide to tackle painting another room.  We have hired people to paint a few rooms in our house, but I have painted most of the rooms.  Terry doesn't like to paint and I don't mind doing it.  I like trying to decide on a color and I love seeing a nice, bright, clean, fresh paint of coat on the walls.  I got my taping done Friday which is always a pain, but a big help to get that out of the way before hand.  I started painting Saturday morning.  Terry took the boys to Walmart and hung out with them until I stopped at 3:00 to get ready for a birthday party that Isaac was invited to.  That night I finished my 2nd coat and did touchups and clean up on Sunday.  I don't like the color as much as the one I chose for the playroom, but I am happy with it and glad that it is done!

I mentioned that Isaac was invited to a birthday party Saturday night and the theme of the party was perfect for him, Superheroes!  Isaac is all about superheroes right now and one in particular, Spiderman.  The invitation said that you could come dressed as your favorite superhero so of course Isaac wanted to be Spiderman.  We didn't have a costume and I really didn't want to go and buy one just for this party so I put my superpower to work (also known as Facebook) and found him a costume.  Some friends at church gave us one that their son had outgrown.  He had a great time at the party and has put his Spiderman costume on I think at least once a day every day since then.  It is fun to see him so into something, but we have decided to limit how much he watches the Spiderman show because it is a little violent and gory and we much prefer him to watch educational shows.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I don't want to forget this feeling!

Earlier today I was thinking about how I haven't blogged in about a week and I was trying to think about what has happened in the past week (such as finding out that Hayden is allergic to peanuts and almonds) and what I wanted to write about.  Then I decided that I wanted to write about how great I have been feeling lately!  I haven't been complaining as much.  Those who know me may think that I don't complain a lot, but I do on the inside.  At times, I grumble to myself about Hayden waking up early, about not having enough time to get things done, about Terry, about the boys.  I love Terry and the boys and am thankful for them, but I am such a planner that if things don't go the way I thought they would or the way I had planned for them to go I grumble to myself.  In fact, I just realized that is another way that Isaac is like me.  Just a little while ago he was trying to play something and Hayden wasn't doing what he wanted him to and he said "This isn't going how I planned!"  Another aspect of how I have been feeling is that I am trying to spend more quality time with the boys and not sweat the small stuff like things I want to get done around the house.  I am telling myself that when I can (like when the boys are watching a show, playing with daddy, or napping) get stuff done I will, but what doesn't get done, doesn't get done.  I am also spending more time in prayer.  I try to start my morning by saying a quick prayer (I say quick because I try to do this right when I wake up and that is usually when Hayden is crying for me to come get him) thanking God for the new day and asking that I will have a good attitude and be the best mother and wife that I can be and to be a light for Him.  I have also been getting back in the habit of praying before I go to bed, reflecting on the day.  Besides praying when I first wake up and before I go to bed I have also been talking to God throughout the day, when I get frustrated, when I need patience, when I watch our boys do something that makes me want to say thank you, thank you for these precious gifts, when I need advice, etc.  I have also recently started reading a book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.  This book was recommended by our friends Jeff and Erin who we are in a small group Bible study with.  They said it was a wonderful, life-changing book and that our small group should read it and discuss it together.  I just finished chapter 2 and it is a great book.  It talks about God's amazing, crazy love for each of us.  The book helps you to come to know God and his love better.  Once you truly know God and his love then the response of your love should be just as crazy!  If we truly love God then it should show in the way we live our lives.  This change in the way I have been feeling started a couple weeks ago when I prayed that I would talk to Him constantly and develop a closer relationship with Him.  I prayed that He would fill me up and that I would be a light for Him.    I feel like His answer has been I will give you what you ask for and More!  I feel like he is saying stick with Me and I will make changes in your life that you may or may not be ready for.

The main reason that I wanted to write about this is because I have been on top of the mountain before.  I don't know if I have ever felt quite like this because no two feelings even if they are both joyous are exactly alike, but I have prayed throughout each day before and felt close to God.  I have been on the mountain at one moment and in the valley the next.  Times that I am not close to God I wonder why, why have I lost my focus when being close to Him is so amazing!  I am determined to continue to develop a closer and closer relationship with Him, talk to Him all throughout each day, and be a servant to others for Him, but if I slip back into the valley I pray that I will read this and run back up the mountain as fast as I can!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow Week

This past week was quite unusual for those of us living in Georgia.  At the end of the previous week everyone started talking about how we were supposed to get snow Sunday night and/or Monday and that temperatures would be very low.  Terry and I kept checking the weather channel application on our phones to see if anything had changed.  The snow prediction for Monday went from 70% possible to 90% to 100%.  The snow was predicted to start some time between 9 and 11 pm Sunday night.  Schools were cancelled Sunday evening as there was no doubt this snow storm was coming.  I was watching tv about 10:30 Sunday night when I got a facebook message from my friend and coworker asking if we had any snow in our area yet.  I hadn't looked outside since before we put the boys to bed so I looked out our back door so I could report back to her.  I thought I would see some snow falling, but was surprised to see our backyard completely covered in snow and quite a bit of it!  It continued to fall off and on through out the night and by morning we had 3-4 inches.  The boys (Isaac especially) was excited to see the snow the next morning and immediately wanted to know when we could go play in it.  It is funny that what was such a normal occurrence throughout the winter when I was growing up is a rare treat for our kids.  Since it was barely light out I decided to hold him off for a little while.  Once we had some breakfast and Terry got up we bundled them up and Terry went in the backyard with them.  Hayden had never seen so much snow and wasn't thrilled with it because he could barely walk in it.  There was like a sheet of ice on top of the snow that made it very difficult to walk.  They played for a little while, but then came in.  I had the idea the day before that it would be fun to build a fire in our fireplace since it was going to be so cold and this was something we rarely do.  Maybe I should say we hardly ever do.  I don't think we had built a fire since before Isaac was born.  I had also mentioned to Isaac that we should have some hot chocolate after playing in the snow.  So, as much as he enjoyed the snow he was almost as excited about drinking hot chocolate and sitting by the fire.  Since I didn't go outside with the boys that morning I wanted to go out that afternoon.  Terry and I talked about the possibility of letting the boys sled down the hill in our backyard, but Terry pointed out that there was a creek at the bottom and that it might not be a good idea.  So, I thought about the small slope between our house and our neighbor's house and thought that might be fun for them.  Since it rarely snows here and when it does it is not very much we have never bought a sled.  So, Terry found the box that his flat screen tv came in and we decided to use that as our sled.  I think Isaac liked the little slide down our side slope, but I wasn't satisfied. I commented that I wished we had a better place for them to sled and Terry said that we could try our big hill and he would be at the bottom to make sure no one went in the creek.  I have a lot of fun memories of sledding from when I was a kid and so I think I was as or more excited then they were.  We first went to one side of the hill and Isaac and I sled down.  We didn't go super fast or far, but it was fun and Isaac immediately wanted to do it again and again.  Hayden went down with me as well, but wasn't super excited about the whole experience.  He couldn't walk on his own, was cold, and probably not that comfortable all bundled up in everything.  So, Hayden and I went in and Terry and Isaac continued sledding for a little while longer.  When they came in they told us how they eventually picked up speed and distance and there was one instance where Isaac went close to the creek, but Terry stopped him.  Monday night's weather prediction was for very low temperatures and freezing rain so schools were cancelled for Tuesday.  Tuesday Terry and Isaac did some more sledding, but I stayed inside with Hayden since I knew he wouldn't have much fun out there.

No more snow or rain was predicted for the rest of the week, but the temperatures were supposed to remain low until Friday.  By Tuesday afternoon Terry and I got word once again that GACS and Hall County schools would be closed for Wednesday.  We couldn't believe that we were going to have 3 snow days in a row.  While we were enjoying the time off work and just being together I was ready to get out of the house even for a short while.  I am used to going out of the house more than once a day whether it be for work or to take Isaac to school, run errands, etc.  While I often complain about being busy I like to stay busy.  So, I was thinking that it would be fun to take the boys to a movie.  We have talked about taking Isaac to his first movie for a while now and just haven't done it.  Wednesday morning I called around and couldn't get a hold of a movie theater.  Besides schools being closed, a lot of businesses were closed as well.  With the temperatures remaining so low and the lack of salt trucks that we have in the South, many roads were icy.  So, I called Chick-fil-a and the man I talked to said they would be open at 11am.  I also called Target and they confirmed that they were open.  So, I suggested that we take the boys to Chick-fil-a where we could eat and they could play and then we could look around at Target (I had a xmas gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket).  When we got to Chick-fil-a we found out that only the drive thru was open.  Maybe they didn't have a lot of workers that could come in and/or maybe they didn't want people to fall on the ice in their parking lot.  So, we decided to try Panera and were happy to see that they were open.  We then looked around Target (I didn't spend my gift card) and stopped by Walmart to get a couple things.  We were only gone for a few hours, but it felt great to get out.  There were more people out on the roads then I thought there would be and the road conditions were better than I thought they would be.  There were definitely icy areas, but a lot of areas were clear.  That afternoon after putting Hayden down for a nap Terry, Isaac, and I headed for the hill.  This time we decided to try a different part of the hill.  It seemed a little steeper and turned out to be just a better area.  We had a blast.  We decided to bring the video camera and get some of this on tape.  At one point Isaac wanted to go down by himself from the top of the hill (sometimes we would just start him from half way down).  Terry went to the top with him and I stayed at the bottom to video tape.  Terry gave him a little push and then started jogging down the hill with him to make sure he didn't hit any trees.  Terry noticed that he was picking up speed so he started running after Isaac and it was a good thing he did because Isaac just kept going and going right towards the creek.  Terry leaped for him and caught him just in time as Isaac was hanging over the cardboard about to fall in the creek.  It gave us both a good scare and we decided that we would never let that happen again.  The temperatures remained low so the ice and snow weren't going anywhere and school was quickly called off again for the next day.  Thursday we made snow ice cream which the boys enjoyed.  Isaac's first comment was "It's better then I thought it would be!"  Although temperatures were supposed to get into the low 40s on Friday it wouldn't be until the afternoon so school was called off once again.  We couldn't believe that we had a whole week off work and on top of that Monday was a holiday - Martin Luther King Day.

We had a lot of fun this past week.  In addition to sledding we played XBox Kinect video games together (bowling is our favorite right now), made snow ice cream, and just hung out.  I did get a little stir crazy at times, but the fun times and the memories that we made far overshadow the few times that I just wanted to get out of the house and go somewhere.  I am very thankful for the time we had together.  I feel like we got the best of both worlds this winter.  We got to do a lot of traveling during our Christmas break and see both sides of our family and we got a week to just be home and relax and play together.  I can't say enough what a fun, family week this was.  I am very thankful for Terry and our two boys and the fun we have together!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Past, Present, and Future

As the new year is beginning I thought I would reflect on 2010, think about what is going on right now, and what might be to come in 2011.  The first thing that comes to mind when reflecting on the past year is how much the boys have changed.    Hayden went from being 6 mths old to 18 mths old so of course a lot of changes took place.  He began walking at 11 mths old in May and in June we celebrated his first birthday.  We had a cookout with family and close friends.  Since then he has learned to jump right in there with Daddy and Isaac when they wrestle, is feeding himself more and more, and has in the past month started to say more and more words.  I feel like he is on the verge of saying a lot!  He tries a lot of words now and really seems to pay attention when others are talking to see how to say a word.  He understands a lot and is great about shaking his head yes or no when you ask him a question.  Isaac went from being 3 to 4.  Isaac became a big brother when he was 2 1/2 and has been a great big brother ever since.  He didn't show as much jealousy as I thought he would and he really seems to enjoy Hayden.  I think he has my love for little ones.  Sure there are times as Hayden has gotten older that they will fight over a toy or both want my attention at the same time, but for the most part they get along great and I love to watch them interact.  You can already see the love and the bond that they share.  Hayden adores his big brother and Isaac loves his little brother.  This past Summer Isaac became quite the swimmer!  He has always loved the water.  We were going to try and set up swim lessons with someone that Terry works with, but that never worked out so Terry just taught him different times that we were at the pool.  Terry's parents' house in Tallahassee, Florida has a pool so he got a lot of swimming in there.  By the end of the summer he didn't want to wear his swim vest and was jumping off the diving board and coming back up to the top of the water by himself (although we always made sure that one of us was close by in the water).  This past Fall we decided to continue building his swimming skills by signing him up for lessons at the Collins Hill Aquatic Center.  I probably signed him up for too basic of a class, but I didn't want him to be in over his head either.  Another milestone for Isaac was starting preschool this past Fall.  He goes Mon, Wed. and Fridays from 9:30 to 1:30.  At first he wasn't too crazy about saying goodbye each morning.  Most parents drop their kids off in front of the school, but you can also walk them in to their classroom.  He was fine if I walked him in, but he didn't like for me to just drop him off outside.  I think he didn't like seeing me drive away.  There were some tears shed, but he pretty quickly got used to saying goodbye whether I walked him in or dropped him off.  He is loving school and his teacher, Ms. Heather had a lot of positive things to say at the teacher/parent conference in the Fall.  She said that he always reminds her of things she needs to do and she said that he is one of the brightest kids in the class.  I know there have been many more wonderful moments in the boys' lives over the past year, but of course I can't cover them all now and now that I am blogging I can record more of them in the coming year!

When I started thinking about Terry and I, I first thought well we haven't hit milestones, we haven't changed in the past year, but then I quickly remembered that there have been significant moments in our lives as well.  I really believe that God is working on both of us.  This past Fall I decided that I wanted to plan a Ladies retreat for our Bible class.  I did this a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  I knew that I needed a weekend away and that many others needed one as well.  Although a little stressful at times I really enjoyed planning it.  We had a great time!  Also this past Fall our friends Brent and Robin who have been Upreach leaders for our Bible class for the past 6 years (with help from different people at different times) asked Terry and I if we would take over this role.  They had been fulfilling this responsibility for a long time and needed a break.  I love organizing events, I love our class, and I wanted them to have a break so I was anxious to say yes, but didn't want to do so unless Terry was on board.  I knew that he was having his busiest, most stressful school year that he has ever had so I wasn't sure if we would want to take on another responsibility.  He knew how much I wanted to do it and agreed to take on this role with me.  Well, right after we were asked to do this an announcement was made at church that our long time preacher had been having an affair with the previous children's ministry leader.  This was a big shock to all of us, but I was proud of the way our elders and everyone handled the situation.  For many of us instead of turning us away from Campus this renewed our commitment to this church family whom we love.  We didn't want this to tear us apart, but instead make us closer and stronger.  Robin and Brent decided that it wasn't the right time to step down as Upreach leaders and committed to leading with Terry and I.  Our friend Taylor who had been teaching our Bible class was asked to preach in the auditorium so Terry stepped forward and said that he would teach.  He said that being asked to be an Upreach leader and then with what happened with our minister he felt called to take a leadership role.  He spent many years when he was younger working in youth ministry and now works in a leadership role as a teacher and head of his department at GACS so for the past several years he was happy to let others lead at church.  He said that he thought many times, the men in our class should step forward and teach.  He realized that it was time he stepped forward and took more of a part in our class.  He has done such a great job as a leader and a teacher.  He has walked our class through the Experiencing God book.  He has a great way of getting his point across with music and stories and takes in everyone's comments as well.  About a month ago Terry was asked to become a Deacon at our church.  I am very proud and blessed to be his wife!

Well, I took quite a bit of time talking about the past year so I will try to make my present and future thoughts a little shorter.  When I think about what is going on right now it is what has happened in the past year continuing.  The boys are continuing to change and I love watching them grow (although I wish they would slow down a little bit!)  Terry is going to continue to teach our class and we are looking forward to continuing to lead in our class.  The women's ministry leader asked me to be a small group leader for our upcoming Spring retreat for our church.  This is something that I have never done before.  I am a little nervous, but mostly looking forward it.  As I mentioned earlier, Terry is have a very busy year and it has been pretty stressful for him so we will both be glad when it is over.

The future, hmmm...I really don't want to make predictions because that has gotten me in to trouble in the past.  See I like to plan and know what is going to happen and how it is going to happen and when it is going to happen, but I have learned that it is best not to make plans, but instead watch and listen for God's perfect plan for our lives.  I have found that when I make plans I get caught up in how I think things should go and get a false sense of being in control.  However, when I completely put things in God's hands I see things work out perfectly.  As many times as I have seen my plans fail and God's succeed I still have many moments where I try to make plans and be in control.  You would think I would have learned by now!  Why are we so thick headed and slow to learn!  Well, fortunately God is forgiving and willing to give us as many chances as we need to get it right so I will keep on trying to give up complete control.