Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Atlanta-Second Round

Rusty had another job in Atlanta this past weekend and Ridge was off this Sunday, so the kids and I traveled with him. We left early Saturday morning and headed to the Georgia Aquarium. It was insanely crowded but we still had a great time. The exhibits were stunning and we spent a lot of time watching my favorites, the belugas. The cafe' was full and there was no where to sit and eat, so we wandered around a found a door that lead to the ballroom with extra tables set up. One wall of the ballroom was a window into the beluga tank. We had front row seats!! There was an aquarium employee sitting at the table beside us and he told the kids the trick to make the whales come to the window for a visit... Here are pictures of Abby showing off her whale training!

Next, we headed to Stone Mountain to take in the laser light show and catch some dinner. The restaurant we ate in was known for their "hand-tossed rolls". Stupid me, I thought that meant they rolled the dough with their hands..... No, apparently it meant, they tossed the rolls at you, with their hands! The kids thought this was awesome! It rained on and off all evening so we weren't sure if we would be able to stay for the show..... but my wonderfully, persistent husband came up with a better idea... He disappeared into the store and came back with five ponchos in hand! So, on went the tacky ponchos and off we went to see the show! Rusty and I had seen the show about 15 years ago with his parents and brothers, while on a family trip to Kentucky. Not much had changed but the music, but the kids really enjoyed it! I think seeing Mom and Dad sporting the yellow ponchos and sitting in the rain with them was their favorite part!

Rusty and I are turning around and heading back to Atlanta this Monday-Wednesday for the DRIVE Conference with a group from Ridge. I'm getting to know the road between Atlanta and Charlotte a little too well :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

V is for Vegetable

I have had a great time back in a preschool classroom this year. It was wonderful to just be a teacher again-without the worries of the administrative side of it all... I have always enjoyed working with preschoolers, but those that know me well, know that it's those wacky two year olds I always fall so madly in love with! This year I have had a mix of older twos and younger threes, six children in all and we have had a marvelous year! I am so sad that graduation is in 23 days! What, oh what will I do without them??? We have learned a letter each week we have been in school and this week was the letter V. Yesterday morning we planted vegetables (carrots, radishes and green beans) and it was so much fun! It's always funny when you are encouraging them to get messy... they look at you so confused, as if to say, "My mom would beat me if I did that at home!" I LOVE messy, hands-on types of learning. Those are the things they remember...... Shaving cream painting, finger paints, corn cob painting are all part of our past 2 weeks! Here are some pictures of our vegetable adventure!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Field Trip #2

Giraffes and Zebras
Mrs. Huntley's Awesome Class of 1st Graders!
They were so close! Carter loved every minute of it!
Carter and his best buddy, Michael... this is what they thought of this sign!

I'm still a little sore and exhausted, but we had a great time yesterday on Carter's field trip. We traveled to Asheboro to visit the North Carolina Zoo with about 150 first graders. Carter's teacher is wonderful and very, very organized, so the trip went off without a hitch. The kids were real troopers. This zoo is built differently than any other zoo I have ever visited. Instead of looping around so that you end where you started, this zoo is built in a five mile straight line. So.... when you are completly exhausted and finally get to the end, you get to turn around and walk all the way back to the front! They had tram's and zebra buses, but the park was pretty crowded (lots and lots of schools on end of the year field trips) so the wait was long. But these kids were amazing! No whining, no complaining (well-only that they couldn't play on the playground!) and great attitudes from 7:15am to 5:30pm!! I think us adults did more fussing than the kiddos! Carter's teacher allowed the class to bring cameras so I let Carter borrow mine for the day. He was so hysterical! Our camera holds well over 120 pictures and twice we had to stop and delete a few so he could take more! I guess I know what to get him for Christmas! Above are some of the pictures he took and one I took of his class.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cooper Withdrawal

If you have ever read the "Who I Am" section to the left of this post, you'll know that we left our dog Cooper, back home in Ft. Myers. It was not a choice that came easy, he was part of the family. But not knowing how long we'd be in this house, plus the possibility of traveling a great deal and the financial strain a dog carries, all seemed to be too much to bring him along. We were incredibly blessed and he found a great home. He is now living with Charlie and Angela Crider and is more spoiled than I ever thought I could make him! He's allowed to sleep on the couch and chase cats (2 things I think I would have beat him for!) So, I'm quite certain he hasn't missed us a bit!

I say all this to tell you that the kids and I are going through "Cooper withdrawal". Abby has turned every stuffed animal, My Littlest Pet Shop figurine, and toy horse into a "pet". She names them, makes pretend food for them (out of scrap paper!) and they all have their own home in her room. At this moment we have a minnow (saved from the kid's weekend fishing w/Rusty) in a candy jar sitting on our bar in the kitchen! His name is Pie, as in Cutie Pie, and the kids think he's the best thing since sliced bread! I think I should break down and at least spring for a goldfish! What do you think??? We are hoping things around here will begin to calm down some and maybe this year, Santa can bring a puppy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I have never been really good with making decisions. Usually, I just make the one that takes the least amount of effort on my part. I'm not proud to say that, but unfortunately, that's the way it usually works out. In the next two or three weeks, Rusty and I have some major decisions to make in regards to our house in Ft Myers. The house has been on the market for more than a year and to be honest, has pretty much drained any and all margin in our lives. It has been both emotionally and financially taxing for both of us. What was once was my favorite place in the world, a place where I felt safe and secure and a place that Rusty and I had made into a home for our family, has become such a burden. I guess there are a few options on the table for us right now - foreclosure, bankruptcy, short-sale or continuing the road we are on right now... None sound like much fun....

Please be praying for us.... We truly want to bring glory to our heavenly Father in all we do, but no margin, is no way to live. Pray that the Lord will place the right people in our paths and that we can be patient and not, in a hurry, make a decision that's outside of God's will. Pray that we will continue to give and not hold tightly, out of fear, to what is not ours to begin with. Pray that God will show us, with crystal clear clarity, the doors in which to walk through.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Field Trip # 1

Abby and some of her classmates riding the train
Abby petting the bearded dragon. She's so sweet...
The first thing she said was, "I wish Carter could've been here! He would've loved that cool lizard!"

This past Tuesday, I was lucky enough to travel with Abby's second grade class to Salisbury, NC on a field trip. Although the activities were a tad unorganized (not the school's fault-the park just wasn't prepared for that amount of kiddos!) we had a great time. We rode a train, pet a bearded dragon, a snake and a turtle. We also visited a gem mine and listened to a geologist give a talk on the kinds of rocks you can find in North Carolina. There was also a petting zoo and the most amazing playground I have ever seen! Neither of which I took any pictures of :(
But I did remember to take a few.... Here are two of my favorites! Field trip #2 takes place this coming Wednesday. Carter's class is heading to Asheboro to the Zoo!! Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tough Day

Today has been a tough day.
Today, I am missing home.
Today, I would give anything to meet Sam, John and the girls at Il Primo for pizza.
Today, I wish it was Sunday night and I was in the booth pestering Todd and David.
Today, I miss Kelli.
Today, I want to be a kindergarten teacher again.
Today, my girls just pointed out that it's Wednesday and they could be at GA's
Today, I am wishing the house on Belrose belonged to someone else.
Today, I would love to sit with my grandma in her living room.
Today, I wish Megan's clothes were in my washing machine.
Today has been a tough day

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pray for Catalyst Church

Please be in prayer for the staff and family that call Catalyst Church their home. Catalyst is a fellow strategic partnership of North Point Community Church located in Greenville, SC. This morning after each of their two services, Casey, their lead pastor, announced that Catalyst will be closing their doors the end of April. If you get the chance, please check out what the staff has to say, here, here and here. Rusty and I have had the blessing of worshiping with Catalyst and have made some great friends through our partnership with them. They are an amazing team of people, and tonight, my heart breaks for them. I can't imagine how heavy their own hearts must have been this morning. Their passion is to finish strong and pour all they have into these precious few weeks. Please pray for them to have the courage to stand firm and continue their walk serving the Glorious One!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Passion in the ATL

A shot of the LED wall Rusty and the guys set up

David Crowder and band on stage

Chris Tomlin doing sound checks

Day 2 or is it day 3.... I'm not sure, they're all running together. This weekend has been amazing! Rusty really wanted me to come with him this weekend, but we weren't sure if I'd even be able to get into the conference. Thursday afternoon, Dave Imber, called and said he had a pass for me for the weekend. We left and I thought I be sitting alone, in the middle of 8500 college students, while Rusty worked. Francis Chan, Louie, Crowder band and Chris Tomlin were all part of the schedule, so I was grateful to be sitting anywhere, as long as I could see and hear! I had no idea what was in store for me!!! The "pass" was an access pass to everything!! I sat 10 ft from Chris Tomlin while he did sound checks, ate lunch one table from Crowder and the band and stood next to Louie while he worked with the lighting and sound guys... Needless to say, it's been pretty cool! Louie only spoke for a little while last night and it was mostly a charge for the students to be a flame for Christ....not to waste their "5 minutes" on this Earth bringing glory to anything or anyone but Jesus. Good stuff, good stuff. Today, Francis is speaking and I am stoked!!

Please pray for Rusty. He is exhausted. He began load in at 4:00 am yesterday and worked all day until we were done at 11:30. He went back this morning at 7:30 and it will be an even longer day. They have to load out the entire arena after the session is over at 11:00!! I know he is so tired and I am amazed at what he has done to provide for our family..... He is my hero. Above are some pictures from yesterday.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Check out the video

Heading to the ATL

This is a chalk mural the kids made for Miss Megan! It says, "Miss Meg-You are so cool!"

Rusty has been asked to work at the Passion conference in Atlanta this coming weekend. I am lucky enough to be able to go too... I can't wait. I have never been to Atlanta (unless driving through downtown at 3 in the morning counts??) and am looking forward to venturing out some on my own. Rusty will be doing load-in and sound checks most of the day, so I think I'll be drinking some Starbucks and reading a good book.... or maybe, just laying out by the pool, attempting to get a little color on this very white body of mine!! Megan got in last night, so my kiddos could care less if we traveled to the moon..... they are so in love with her, they have already asked me at least 5 times, "So, when are you and daddy leaving again???" I am trying to not be offended :)Pray for safe travels for Rusty and I and for the kids and Megan to have a great time while we're gone!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

sunday @ ridge

Josh and Tasha, Rhett, Brett and Tim
We started a new series tonight at ridge church called, "Starting Point". Once again, it just proves to me what an amazing communicator Andy is. Here are a few pictures of the stage set for this series. Big kudos to my honey and his awesome team of volunteers! Great job guys!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Five....

Lots of good stuff going on this past week, it has been a great couple of days! Here's some randomness from my head...

1. I love our small group @ Ridge! We had a great time on Tuesday night. We were off for two weeks and I vote we don't try that madness again!!! I missed everyone too much :( We ate lots and lots of Mexican food and started a new bible study. The study is called "Your Time-Starved Marriage" by Les and Leslie Parrot and looks like it will be a great one. Looking forward to the next 6 weeks in group.

2. Had an impromptu dinner party last night and we had a blast. We went back to the store for more tortillas, sour cream and drinks, heated up the leftover Mexican and sat and talked for hours. We really are so blessed by the friends we have made since the move.... Shawn & Marla and Spanky & Lara - we love ya!

3. Woke up this morning, went to balance the checkbook, looked at the balance online and about had a stroke..... thought I had forgotten to pay a bill or some crazy person had deposited money in the wrong account!! After a few seconds of checking, I realized that we had received our tax return about 2 weeks early!! That made my day!!

4. I LOVE FRIDAYS!! Rusty doesn't work and I am blessed to have a job that is open Monday through Thursday... We call these our "date days". I know most people have date nights, but with all three kids in school from 7:30 to 2:30, we have 7 hours to ourselves! Today we walked around the mall, looked at shoes (we both have issues!) and ate at chicken Supremes @ Harper's... It was a great day!

5. Yesterday on the way to take Paige to school, Rusty's Jeep started acting up. He ended up having to park it and then later tow it back to the house. He's adores that Jeep and I felt so bad for him. He amazes me that and can seem to fix ANYTHING!! Wouldn't ya know... he just walked in the door and after only 2 hours and not having a clue what was wrong when he started, it's fixed! He's thrilled and that in nutshell ends a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lovin' Life!

Ever had a day where you just wake up just lovin' life? Not just happy but completely in love with the life you live? Today is that day for me... I laid in bed last night just thanking the Lord over and over for the blessings in my life. My amazing husband and best friend, my wonderfully nutty children, my family, my church and the friends we've made in our community group. God is so good! Today is a good day!!!