Monday, October 25, 2010

a weekend by the campfire

as i'm working my way through the piles of "campfire" laundry, the familiar smell reminds me again of the way i feel when we're camping... like everything is right, in spite of the work and effort that goes into it... like we're in our element somehow, even though the experience is so different than our regular day to day. it really is wonderful and something our family enjoys.

as we were taking down camp sunday morning, the guy camping across from us came over and said it had been such an encouragement the night before to over hear our children reading matthew 2. moments like these make my heart swell up with pride because it was on the kids own accord that they sat around in the tent that night and read the bible together... and to think it was blessing our neighbor and none of us even knew it. i love how the Lord works!

we set up camp on site #16 at kings mountain state park

catherine is indeed my child... i peeked in one of her packed camping trip bags and found this pumpkin. when i asked her why in the world she was bringing it, she replied, "well mom we've got to decorate!" so even while camping, our table looked pretty with fall foliage from nearby woods placed in plastic cups nestled beside our perfect little pumpkin

a dog named rusty was camping next door with his family... anna was completely in love with him

benjamin dragging in a tree that he cut down all by himself

even rocks are more interesting when you're camping

catherine teaching mary scott how to play checkers

roasting marshmallows for yummy s'mores

A Night Away

What a treat it was to sneak away for an overnight trip to Boone and Blowing Rock. Brian and I enjoyed so much the simplicity of sitting and sharing a meal without interruptions and even resting on a park bench quietly, not jumping up to fetch one of the children or address wrong behavior. The opportunity to sleep in was certainly appreciated, as well! Being right in the thick of parenting, it's alway a treat to have a little break. We had a great time strolling the streets of Blowing Rock while checking out the local shops. We topped off our time there with a chat over coffee and dessert... the perfect way to draw our trip to close.

thanks so much, MeMe (aka Mama), for loving and caring for the kids so we could get away

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mary Scott's last "1st day" of Preschool

such a pretty girl, and tall too!

a little posy for your 1st day of preschool

Mrs. Taylor showing Mary Scott around the classroom

Daddy's shirt repurposed into a new outfit for Mary Scott

ready to go home after a fun morning at school

It's still a mystery to me how quickly time flies. How can it be that today was Mary Scott's last "1st day" of preschool? She's a 4k'er now and will be off to kindergarten next year. It almost feels like yesterday that we moved to Rock Hill, and she was only 6 months old! She has excitedly anticipated preschool starting and had a wonderful day. I think she'll enjoy her classmates as a number of them are already dear little friends. And her teachers, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Hebebrand, seem delightful. Mary Scott looked cute as a button this morning, big smile and all, as we headed off to school.

I stayed up last night after everyone else was in bed to make a little outfit for her first day. I enjoyed the quiet time and the chance to be creative and sew... it's sure been a while! It was a fun little project. I repurposed an old dress shirt of Brian's into a skirt and put a cute little posy on a hand me down t-shirt. It turned out well and is more special because it first belonged to Daddy. I fashioned the skirt from this blog post: The posy on the t-shirt was inspired by my wonderfully talented and creative friend Corrie. I'm so thankful for people who are willing to share their ideas!

Sweet Mary Scott... Mommy's proud of you, and I love you! I'm glad you had a wonderful day at preschool.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Old-Fashion Lemonade Anyone?

Lemonade is one of those things that screams summer so the kids and I, upon their years of requests, finally decided to do a Lemonade Stand. And what better way to finish off summer break than to make a great memory! After some heart to heart discussions, Benjamin and Catherine decided to give all the money made from the lemonade and chocolate chip cookies to a ministry called Urban Eagles ( This ministry, in particular, is dear to their hearts because some of the children who are ministered to attend our church and are in their Sunday school classes. Proverbs 14:31 says, "... but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." We've been talking a lot lately at our house about how richly blessed we are and about being grateful and content rather than always focusing on what we don't have and what we want... so hard in our culture because most everything around us is telling us we "need" so much more than we really need.

We had a really fun time preparing everything to make our table pretty... okay, I had a really fun time! I found the best links for printable labels on a blog new to me: And juicing all the lemons... whew, that was a lot of lemons that left our whole downstairs smelling delightful! I should've counted them but didn't even think about it. In all we made 4 big batches of lemonade and 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies. The day started our really cloudy with threats of rain, but the Lord was beyond faithful to answer my prayers to keep the rain away at least until we were finished... it was sunny and hot from 1 to 3 while were manning our stand. Brian said maybe next time I should pray a little more specifically... keep the clouds but without the rain!

Thanks to the generosity of friends and neighbors, the children have a donation of $61.85 to give to the Urban Eagles! Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and thank you Lord for making it a success. It was a delightful afternoon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School for Benjamin & Catherine

dressed and ready for another year of school

new school sign - Sunset Park Center for Accelerated Studies

Catherine is getting so tall

super excited about her new backpack... a birthday gift

big 5th grader

Catherine and Mary Frances, one of her friends and classmates

loaded up to head home after walking big brother and sister into school

How quickly the summer passed and here we are... another 1st day of school. This time, it's 3rd and 5th grades. It began hitting me hard that this was the last "1st day" of walking Benjamin into elementary school. I can remember like yesterday taking him to the door of his kindergarten class on his first day there, and like a flash, he's now a 5th grader. Catherine's a 3rd grader which means she's half way through with elementary school. They're super excited about their year and are anticipating it being a challenging one as they are both in gifted and talented classes where all of their work will be accelerated... so lots of interesting new things to learn should await both of them. Here's to another awesome year at Sunset Park!