Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pool Fun

Last year, Luke @ 18months was the only one of my kiddos who would go off the diving board at our pool.  He is most certainly the dare devil of the trio. 

This past week, he got some company.

I had them all line up with their friend Anslee so I could capture:


Sydney, JJ, Luke, Anslee and Averi all five enjoy the slide-I couldn't get Luke away from the diving board when I took this one though:

Here's to more fun summer days at the pool with this crew!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Month 2

The 2nd month of our summer has just flown by-and we have packed in the fun for the whole month.  We knew that this would be the busiest stretch of the summer and we have truly enjoyed.

I've missed a chance to update all the fun, but here is my attempt at the highlights :)

One of the best things about summer every year-we get to spend several days with B & S and their girls, at our home and theirs too.

 We are amazed-they moved from BG 7 years ago but we only grow closer & closer as time passes.

Our neighborhood had a big picnic, complete with 3 bouncy houses, Mr Magic and Chaney's ice cream trailer!  Mr Magic made JJ this cool balloon hat:
One of Sydney's goals for the summer was to take the boys to her school playground to play so she could show us her new talent....climbing 'the web.'  At her school, you are not allowed to climb the web if you are in K, so I guess she has been eyeing since last August.  1st grade-we are coming.
 Somebody else was right behind her, and Daddy's hands were too :)
Nevertheless, my big boy was quite proud of himself!
We met up with a very sweet friend from school to eat lunch and play.
Any chance we get, we are the pool playing with Anslee and Averi and when five kids are calm enough to allow us, I get to catch up with my great friend/their Mommy too. :)
Some days we play so hard, we just about crash:
Sydney loves to feed the ducks, and really missed this during the school year, so we have worked that in a few times this summer.  On this day we stopped, we found baby ducks too.

I took JJ to lunch at Sonic for National Hot Dog day.
He cracks me up.
We also made a day trip to Louisville this past Monday to meet up with my aunt, cousin and her little man.
It was a great day-and we committed to getting together more often as our kiddos grow up.

Another big adventure in July was our week long trip to Charlotte which I hope to get organized soon.

Only two more weeks til Sydney starts back, and about a month 
until I do and everyone is back into the normal routine.
Excited to make the most of the short time left!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just the Boys

While Sydney and I were away in Indianapolis, the boys hung out with Daddy.  Other than the fact that it rained all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and some on Sunday....they had a great time together.

JJ got to play with Caleb on Friday which was a big highlight.  He also requested that Daddy take him to Chickfila and grill him a hot dog while Mommy was gone-you better believe he got his wish!  Luke did not understand where I was, and every place they went he thought they were meeting me :(

Since there was so much rain, they mostly played at home and Daddy hit some fun indoor spots like Chickfila, carousel at the mall & Chuck E Cheese!!  He also took them to the park in between showers because in his words-at least at the park they could play in the wet mulch-instead of the huge mud puddles in our yard.
We are glad that they enjoyed fun time with Daddy, and Sydney and I were both super excited to see all three of them when we got home!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bad Bee

We spent most of our weekend with Brian, Stacy and the girls.  Saturday morning we were heading out for a day of fun and I was out at the van...I hear Sydney SCREAMING...(I mean sometimes she is a little dramatic, but SCREAMING!)

She is screaming and running toward me-a bee has stung her :(.  It stung her directly under her eye-it hurt so bad.  Thankfully we had some of the magic bee medicine that my mom knows about and Stacy and I share-and we got it right on her.  It still took a long time for her to stop feeling the pain.

Our little girl went on to have a great day with her friends and brothers but her face was swollen-it was even more swollen this morning. 

My poor, poor baby.

She went to bed tonight again with's hoping tomorrow the swelling will be gone.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Family on Mission

July 4-7 Sydney and I traveled to Indianapolis on a mission trip with a team from our church.  The reason for the trip was to develop relationships and begin ministry to people in the Songhai community who have moved here over the past decade from West Africa.  Our church sends multiple trips, financial resources and support to share Christ with the Songhai in Niger.  But Indianapolis!?!...only 3.5 hours away and what a wonderful opportunity.

Sydney and I travelled with my friend Dwan and her three oldest kiddos-Isabel, Mattie and Noah

.We left on Thursday July 4 and quickly after arriving, our group met up with Sally and a couple families who are within this community....and they took us right into the middle of Indy to the 4th of July fireworks celebration.  It was a huge crowd and the fireworks were really neat.
 We had about 3 hours before the show to visit and continue forming those relationships.

These are the amazing women, men and kiddos I had the pleasure to serve with for the next four days!

Our trip was comprised of backyard bible type activities at a local park two different days, visits to specific locations such as African braiding salons, International Grocery Stores, African restaurants, and then a big "block party" on our final night.  Through these events and visits, the team had the opportunity to share food, laughs, crafts, photos taken by team members who have visited the Songhai in Niger, bible stories and the gospel. 

We developed the beginning of some (hopefully!) solid relationships with our new friends
and tighter bonds within our own group too. 

At one point, Brooke and I started painting nails, and then we let them paint ours....several different layers of polish :)

 It was a great experience and I am so thankful that my girl and I got to be a small part.  I treasure the time I had with her and the group, and hope we can do it again.

 On our last day, we were at the park again...and even though some had said they would come, they did not :(.  This was discouraging but also meant God gave us a sweet time of worship, study and fellowship before it was time to head home and on our separate ways.

Our trip was almost literally the beginning of  (prayerfully) a long term relationship between Living Hope and this sweet and welcoming group of people.  One specific prayer is that we can also find a partner church in Indianapolis who can help along the rode to our hope that many will grow to embrace the gospel and Christ.
1 Chronicles 16:23-24
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!  Tel of his salvation from day to day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hot Summer Days....Frosty the Snowman??

Yesterday it was in the mid 90's here....the heat index was well over 100.  I guess my kiddos were dreaming of cooler weather-and what started out as Sydney reading to Luke....turned into this:

Thankful Daddy grabbed the camera to film.  I'm just sure this will be the kind of thing I will love to look back on when they are all grown up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fish, Fountains, Friends, Fireworks

Sydney and I left for Indianapolis on July 4th, so we celebrated the holiday as a family one day early.

We decided to head to Nashville and our first stop was the Aquarium Restaurant for dinner. 

This was our first time to go to this place and it was pretty neat.  The food was good and the atmosphere was a lot of fun-fish, stingrays, sharks.

Luke was scared at first when we went in and sat down.  I think he must have thought the fish were going to get him?!
After a while he was fine and got right up beside the fish with brother and sister.  The pictures are not the best because of the lighting, but we all enjoyed this restaurant.

After dinner, we walked over the the Opryland hotel so we could enjoy watching the fountains and walk around.
Sydney and JJ did not sit with us...they were up right beside the fountains.  So close that they both got very wet-they thought this was just awesome.


Someone else decided to join them as well.

After we left Opryland, we headed to see our friends Charles & Andra and three kiddos at their home.  The live within a mile of Nashville Shores and have a perfect view of the fireworks they host on the 3rd.  It was great to watch fireworks and visit with them for a while before we headed home.  The kids were tired and Sydney kept reminding me that it was way past her bedtime. 
We enjoyed our early 4th of July celebration! 



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Holiday World

While the Linn's were here with us in late June, we made the fun trip to Holiday World. 

We had a great day-perfect weather and low crowds. 
Many of the rides, we were able to just walk right on.
Sydney wanted to meet Holidog-and when we first walked in, she got her wish.

Of course, a highlight was visiting the waterpark, where we stayed for most of the day. 
Watching Luke was one of the best parts for me and Jeff.  He LOVED it.  This was his first trip to HW.  He did anything and everything that he was allowed (height wise) to do.  Each time he would finish a slide, he would say "again."  He ran up and down to the waterslides over and over for hours...and I really think he would've just kept going until he passed out from exhaustion. 
Luke was not the only one to have fun at the waterpark!

We all did this one a couple of times. 
But as we were leaving the waterpark, it had no line and Avery, Sydney and JJ kept talking the Daddys into going again, again.

The race down the "rainbow" slide....
Brian, Avery, Jeff, JJ, and Sydney.  (for the record, Jeff passed them all and won at the end)

Our last three hours were mostly spent riding kiddie rides-although B and Jeff escaped for a while to hit Giraffica water ride and the three roller coasters that no one else would go on with them.  :)

Sydney and Avery told us that this was one of the best days ever.  They have such a sweet and sincere friendship for two six year old little girls.

All five of the kids are close and enjoy being together very much.
It's hard to beat a day with this crew.  

Big smiles for Holiday World!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let Your Light Shine

Sydney attended Arts Alive camp the first week of June.  The campers were ages 6-9 so Sydney was the youngest of the group.  This is a camp that came highly recommended to me by my friend Dwan.  The mission of Arts Alive is to help children become more comfortable with being bold....bold and unafraid in sharing with others the story of Jesus.  It was an AMAZING week.  Jeff and I would agree with another close friend who said this was the best money he(they) ever spent.

We are way beyond thankful that she has opportunities to participate in such activities.

The week at camp and their performance on Friday is not only a major highlight of our summer and year, but of Sydney's young life.  If there has been a time we were any more proud as parents, I do not know when that was. 

Sydney was blessed to have several friends there, including her big buddies Anslee and Hannah.
This is the group of Living Hopers who were there.  8 of the 25.

Each of the kids had a part in the play that they performed on Friday afternoon, and lines to learn.  The name of the play was "Let Your Light Shine" and it was based off of the story of the widow in Mark Chapter 12 who gave all she had.  Sydney had 4 different lines and she did so well....she remembered them all and was loud enough that everyone could hear her clearly.  She so enjoyed the singing and choreography too. 
The videos of the speaking parts did not come through
so clear from my phone, but the songs did well.  Here is one of their songs:

The kids also painted the backdrop (above) for the play.

Here is Sydney's part of the backdrop...
When we asked her why there was a sad face along with the hearts, flowers and cross she painted, she told us because it was so awful and sad when Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins.

Sydney, we are so proud of you :)