Sunday, May 24, 2009

Off to the Zoo

                                     Our occasional family photo

                                                                the Brewers

                                                               the Hanrions 

                                    Isabelle & Mary Scott - special friends

                               that is one fat lip on Mr. Gorilla

                    the giraffes are definitely one of my favorites

                                enjoying my sweet children

                                            elephants sure are huge...


                                    Abigail feeding the beautiful birds

Brian and Mary Scott enjoying the carousal - it was Brian's 1st trip to this zoo

                                     Digging around for earth worms

This earth worm was Lily's favorite "animal" at the zoo

Catherine found a lady bug friend, better known as "Spotty"

Last Sunday, we took a little road trip down to the Riverbanks Zoo in Colombia, SC.  We met the Brewers and the Hanrions, a couple of families from our Home Fellowship group, for a picnic then strolled through the zoo together.  It was an enjoyable afternoon for sure.  We saw so many neat animals.  And riding the carousal was one of the last things we did before heading home.  We had a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

SWIM... BIKE... RUN...

Put all those together... swim... bike... run... and you have a triathlon.  And still to my amazement, Benjamin and Catherine did one this past weekend.  I have to say I've done my share of cheering them on at their different sporting events but never have I cheered so hard or been so proud of them.  Let me start by saying that not once in my life have I done such a race and here at the mere ages of 6 and 9, they can both add such an event to their resume.  

We got the form sent home in their folders from school inviting them to participate and much to my surprise... they were both begging to join in.  Kind of puts me to shame being I'm not even consistent about walking a few days a week, let alone being excited about doing something like a triathlon.  So we signed 'em up.  Keep in mind this was only a week or so before the race so there wasn't a whole lot of time for training.  And let me also remind you that my kids haven't been in a big pool sense August of last year, and I don't recall they've ever swam laps in an Olympic size pool.  So sum our preparation up to going for a couple of 1 mile runs through our neighborhood.

Saturday morning, excitement running through our house, we loaded their bikes with all the other needed gear for the race and headed to the starting point.  Benjamin and Catherine got registered and "numbered" on their arms and legs, we got their bikes ready and then headed down to the pool where the first leg of the race would take place.  As we approached the pool and I took one good look at it, I began doubting either of them would even make it from one end to the other.  Of course I never let them know I had an inkling of uncertainty but continued encouraging both of them.

Catherine was the first to swim... one length of the pool, followed by a 1 mile bike ride and a 1 mile run.  She really surprised me.  Her swimming wasn't perfect in form, but she kept herself moving until she made it to the other end.  She pulled herself out of the pool and took off running to where her bike was stationed.  I was allowed to assist her with getting her shoes and bike helmet on.  As we were getting her settled to get on her bike, and I was telling her what an awesome job she did swimming, she looked up at me and said it was so hard, she didn't even feel like she could breathe.  But she jumped up on her bike and off she went....

So I took off back to the pool to watch Benjamin finish up his swim, and when I got there, I was taken a little off guard.  I finally put my eyes on him to realize he was the very last one in the pool, and he was struggling.  Every ounce of my being wanted to jump in there and rescue him, but something deep inside me just believed in him and kept cheering for him.  He had to swim 2 lengths of the pool, and it was clearly almost more than he could handle.  But he made it.  After a little help getting up out of the pool, he took off for his bike.  When he ran by me, I gave him 5 and reminded him he could do it.  The only response I got... "That was terrible!" in reference to his swim.  As worn out as he was, he got himself ready for the bike ride which was 2 miles long... and he took off like a dart.  He knew he needed to make up some time to stay in the race.

Soon after, we got to cheer for Catherine as she came in with her bike.  She was walking it, but she didn't stop.  She even had a little grin on her face.  As soon as she parked her bike, she sprinted off for the last leg of her race, a 1 mile run.  She looked so natural as she ran off from us.  In fact, Brian looked at me and said, "She looks like a runner."

Next in was Benjamin, jogging his bike in for the last little bit.  Brian and I were cheering like crazy, for him and all the other kids.  He quickly put his bike aside then took off for his run, also 1 mile.  

Catherine was the first to cross the finish line, as her swim and bike ride where shorter than Benjamin's.  Her time for the whole race was 21.09 minutes.  A few minutes later, Benjamin came in for his finish.  He had slowed down on the last little leg until he realized another racer was coming up behind him, then he took off to get over the finish line first.  His time for the whole race was 27.9 minutes.  My heart still wells up with pride every time I think about their accomplishment... that they finished the race... didn't quit because it was tough and they weren't in the lead... but they finished because it was what they set out to do.  I'm one proud Mama with a proud Daddy right beside me.  Way to go Benjamin and Catherine!  Y'all were AWESOME!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The children and I have been anxious to go pick some strawberries, and we finally headed over to a nearby patch Wednesday afternoon (The Bush & Vine in York, SC).  Our trip started with witnessing a medical helicopter land right before our eyes in response to a terrible car accident.  So on our drive out to the strawberry patch, we had to talk through all the thoughts and feelings such a sight conjured up.  Once we got our buckets and started picking, the peacefulness of being outdoors in the pretty sunshine seemed to settle everybody down, and we had a great time.  Benjamin and Catherine had their buckets filled to the brim in no time.  Mary Scott was being a little moody and not so much getting into the whole "strawberry picking" thing.  She wanted me to pick 'em and then let her put them in the bucket.  Anna enjoyed watching from her stroller.  At one point she was leaning over the side of her stroller like she was gonna find her own strawberry and pick it.  I gave her one to hold and she immediately squished it in her fingers.  We also got to see some honey bees at work - so interesting.  A great little afternoon trip was enjoyed by all.  And we've been eating strawberries at nearly every meal sense and for snacks, too!  YUM!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Officially on the Move

                   Oh yes, Anna is crawling

                   Look at that determination in her face

The trash can in the study... she loves getting into it!

               NO Anna... we don't eat trash!

The cookie/cracker jar... now that's a better snack!

Without a doubt I can officially announce Anna is crawling.  She is on the move and getting quicker every day.  She's been perfecting her crawl for the past week, and now I hardly ever find her in the same room where I left her.  It's so much fun watching her explore as she travels around the house.  I better watch out because any day now, she's gonna be into everything!

Monday, May 11, 2009

REFLECTIONS from this mother

   Heartfelt sentiments from Benjamin and Catherine

    May I treasure each day for I am richly blessed!

Benjamin, my only son, and oh how love him.  I treasure his passion, his quick mind, his potential...

Catherine, my tender spirited girl.  I long to desire the Lord as she does.  

How I delight in Mary Scott's smile.  And she's my feisty one!

The sheer joy that baby Anna brings me!  I love meeting the needs of this little one.

Sweet Sisters!  How I pray the Lord will knit their hearts in a tight bond to one another.

This man, my man... greatest Daddy in the world!!  How I joy in being his wife.

These girls... I just love 'em!

These moments when Benjamin and Catherine have so much fun together... I love it!

Catherine is such a sweet sister.  We all love kissing Anna's cheeks!

On this side of Mother's Day, I find my heart reflective.  Yesterday was a sweet day, a day when my precious husband and children made it their aim to make me feel special.  After church, we went to lunch... Macaroni Grill... YUM!  Though it was Mother's Day, our lunch was colored by the normal stuff that a meal out with 4 children displays... voices too loud, nearly turned over glasses of water, trip to the car to nurse a baby just as our meal was brought, crayon marks on table cloth.  There were also those precious moments... excitement about a yummy lunch, looking at my children's beautiful faces as we sat around the table together, Brian as he diligently tended to every one's needs in an effort to give me a break, the children having fun coloring on the paper that covered our table and me getting to teach Benjamin and Catherine how to draw a palm tree.  It was a sweet lunch together.  During our time there, Brian asked me a question that I've played over in my mind several times since.  He asked, "What is it about being a mom that you most enjoy?"  In the moment, I didn't have some well thought out reply.  I said something like this, "I love watching our children play when they are getting along and just having fun together, and I love when they're kind to one another."  And yes, I do enjoy and treasure those times.  But there's so much more.

I enjoy encouraging my children, guiding them, cheering them on.  I love holding my children in my lap, snuggling them close and telling them how much I love them.  I am thankful that I'm able to be involved in all the things they do... school, sports, church.  I love that our family is close and that we do nearly everything together.  I am so grateful that I can pray to a faithful God for my children.

Proverbs 31:28 says, "Her children rise up and call her blessed."

So many days, most days in fact,  I feel so undeserving of their blessings... days when my patience is short, my words are snappy, my hands are too busy to offer the tender touch they need.  Those days when I am clearly not gaining my strength from the Lord Almighty and not being guided by his Holy Spirit.  Oh how I regret these instances.  Yet through God's grace, my children do bless me.  Benjamin has said, "I love that no matter what has been going on in mom's day, she always has a smile for us when she picks us up from school."  Mary Scott will say, "You're my best mama."  And Catherine will tell me, "Mama, you're such a good mama."  Anna will smile the sweetest smile at me, one that radiates love.  In moments when my children are speaking blessings over me, the enemy is whispering in my other ear all his lies that aim to discourage me.  That I even give him the chance to have his way makes me want to scream.  I know Satan would love nothing more than to steal the very joy of mothering that Christ has for me.  Am I perfect?   oh... far, far from it.  But that is the beauty of grace.

In the months and years ahead as God allows me to bless my children, my prayer is that my words and deeds will bring Christ glory.  After all, that is what this gift of motherhood is all about.  Not to gain the praises of others or even to view myself as a good mom.  But to bring glory to the Lord... as I serve my children, as I instruct them in the ways of Jesus, as I discipline them, as I celebrate and have fun with them, as they see me being a loving and devoted wife to Brian.  Oh Lord I pray that as I walk humbly before you and abide in you, that my words and deeds toward my children and husband will be laced with LOVE... the kind of love that took you to the cross.  And that in these things you will gain much glory.