Sunday, September 28, 2008

apple pickin' & linville falls

Saturday morning we loaded up the cars (my sister brought gas from Columbia, SC so we would have enough to get over to the mountains and back) and headed to the foothills to pick apples. It was so much fun! We took a wagon ride through the orchard and then hijacked a wagon of our own and made an adventure through the trees:) We picked Jonagold, green delicious, red delicious, and cameo apples. We had apple cider slushies and bought apple butter and apple preserves to send home for the grandmas. It was so much fun to watch my kids "teaching" their cousins the correct way to pick an apple... (you know, with one year of picking under their belts, they're almost professionals!)
After we'd picked way more apples than we can ever eat, we drove to Linville Falls for an afternoon hike to the waterfall. With all the rain from this recent series of storms, the trails were a muddy mess, but it didn't stop the kids from reaching the falls in record time:)

family night #4 ~ apples of my eye

Carter rolling out the dough for our biscuits
making mini caramel apples
Gaby loved cutting the biscuits out!
what a goof!
Aunt Sam helping with the apples

At this week's family night, we had a few additions to our fun! My sister and her family flew in for the weekend. (I think she secretly didn't want to miss all the fun we have at family night! lol) On Friday night we had baked chicken with apples and the kids helped me make homemade biscuits with apple butter. For dessert we each made a few mini caramel apples. My plan was also to 'bob' for apples, but once again, the rain kept us inside, and I wasn't brave enough to do that in the house! This week was pretty low keyed, no decorations or games, just lots of family togetherness and the kids had so much fun helping us cook! Our family night carried over to the next morning, as we all loaded up the cars and headed to Morganton for some apple pickin' and wagon ridin'!!

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

i'm as special as can be....

My sister, brother-in-law and two nieces have been visiting this weekend from Florida. We've had such a great time with them! The first night they were here, Gaby spent some time showing Aunt Tina all the new songs she's learned at school. Thank goodness for video you can enjoy this too! Here's Gaby singing her rendition of "Special Me". It's a hoot!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

out of the mouths of babes....

I have to share this really cool thing that happened today in my class....

Let me set up this little story~Every morning we start our day off praying together. I have 7 of the sweetest four year olds you'll ever meet, and I have to say, this is one of my favorite parts of the day. After we pray, we read our bible story. This week we have been learning about Noah and the Ark. This story has been fascinating to them, especially the two boys! They ask question after question, like, "How high was the water? Was the boat as big as our classroom? & What happened to the people who didn't get on the boat?" Today for some reason we got stuck on the part about God shutting the door to the ark right before it began to rain. One of my boys asked, "Miss Tina, if God is invisible, how did He shut the door?" you laugh, but you try answering THAT one!! I answered it the best way I knew how.... I told him that just because you can't see the wind, doesn't mean it's not there.... We looked outside and the wind was blowing hard and the tress were rocking! (thank you Lord for Your perfect timing!) He seemed to understand... the faith of a child always amazes me! This leads to another question by my sweet "J"... "Miss Tina, where is God right now?" I told him, "He's right here with us". He said, "So, he's invisible, right?" I said, "Yes, but the bible says 'where two or more are gathered in His name, he will be there too'. So when all of us pray together, He is here with us!" He got the most excited look on his face and then he started looking around the room and then he said, "But where does He sit?!" We always sit in a circle for prayer, so thinking on my feet, I said, "Right here in the middle" and pointed to the center of our circle. A minute or so later, I look over to see "J" tickling the air.. saying, "tickle, tickle, tickle". I say, "J", what are you doing?" and he looks at me with a face that just melted my heart and says, "I'm tickling God. Do you think He's happy?" I told I was most certain that God was smiling right now.

How sweet is that??? This is why I love being surrounded by preschoolers.... some days, like today, I know I leave having learned much more from them, then they learned from me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

what do you do with the foil from your qdoba leftovers??

This is what Abby does with hers......
a mouse....a viking ship....
a cruise ship (?).....

Friday, September 19, 2008

family night #3 ~ chef's night

Abby tossing her pizza!
We had so much fun:)
Chef Rusty working the dough!
Abby created the menu for our meal
Chef Abby, Chef Carter and Chef Paige making their creations

Tonight's theme was "You're the Chef!" We started by making chef hats out of tissue paper and poster board; let's just say, they definitely sounded easier to make then they were.... but they turned out real cute. Next, everyone made their own pizza creation. They kids had a blast! Rusty put together a bunch of different toppings for them to try-we had red peppers, ground beef, bacon, cheese, ham and pepperoni.... yummy! After we were done with our pizza we tried our hand at ice cream sundae making (that was my favorite part!) and then a family walk to the park to finish the night off. I am so grateful that these nights have done exactly what I had hoped they would do..... make us take the time, without all the normal, everyday distractions, and just focus on enjoying our children. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day "stuff" and end up rushing from one thing to another, and forget how fast they grow up. I still look at Paige and wonder, "where has the time gone?" I know I can't stop time, or even really slow it down, but I pray these nights are memories they will cherish, long after they have gone off on their own.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Yesterday was a day filled with a lot of emotion for me. The message at Ridge, was the second part of the three part series, "Everybody". This entire series is pretty close to my heart, but this particular message is very special to me. Rusty and I watched this message two years ago and it forever changed our lives. We both sat and cried the first time we watched it.... I never knew how life changing that 40 minute message would be! At that very moment, we both knew we wanted to be part of something that was making a difference in people's lives, even though we knew it wouldn't be easy. Flash forward to yesterday morning, and I'm sitting next to my husband, part of something that is truly making a difference, and I was watching that message again; for the first time since that day back in 2006. I cried the whole message, but for an entirely different reason.... I was completely overwhelmed with gratefulness.... How amazing is our Father! Who knew how that prayer Rusty and I prayed "way back when" would unfold? It has been an amazing journey... a hard one at times, but one I wouldn't trade for anything!

This is a highlight video, shot by the awesome Brian, and edited by the amazing, Rusty, of our first Sunday morning service at Ridge Church! Enjoy:)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ridge's 1st Sunday Morning!

Small groups during UpStreet
A view of the stage
A look down the Waumba Land hallway
We start them early @ Ridge! (Mac rolling cables for Rusty)

Today, Ridge Church held our first Sunday morning worship service. It was unbelievable! Worship was amazing, the message was awesome and if we have a few more weeks of that many people crammed into that space, we'll be running two services in no time! I am totally exhausted but I feel so blessed to have been a part of this special day:) I love this church; I love everything about this church. I can't imagine my life without it. God is doing some pretty glorious things through Ridge Church and I am so grateful that I am able to serve alongside some of the most amazing people in the world! We kicked off our Sunday morning adventure with the "Everybody" series by Andy Stanley. For those of you who don't know, this was the series that Rusty and I watched in August of '06, that completely changed our lives.... It jacked up everything we thought we knew about what and how church should be. The Lord definitely used this series to start us out on the path that lead us to Ridge. I am so excited to see how He uses this series for His glory through the people who call Ridge home.

family night #2 ~ football fun

Abby eating a hot dog & drinking her root beer at the tailgating party
Paige and a few of the autographed footballs
The MVP's autographing their game ball!
Carter eating the yummy football cake!

Miss Megan and Abby making our field cake!

Our second family night was this past Friday and our theme was "football fun". Although the night didn't go exactly how I planned it, we still had a great time! Hurricane Hannah decided to skim NC on Saturday morning so we were blessed with some drenching rain Friday night.... Our plan was to have a tailgating party for dinner and then get dressed in our football duds and head off to Porter Ridge High's varsity game. Luckily, the rain held off long enough for the tailgating but that's about all we got in before everything was soaked! Here are some pictures of the night:)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

labor day

Paige, Mac and Carter giving "Sir Purr" a high 5 @ the parade!
Abby was in heaven... She had this smile on all day:)
Carter and Rusty (this one's for you Deb!)
Carter chillin' in the tube
Spanky, Carter and Cole~all I can say is, it's a good thing those boys can swim:)
My Cheeto-faced Abby!

It has been a crazy 2 weeks! The kids starting school and me starting my new job, have sent my world spinning... I guess I just wasn't ready for the full throttle speed that the fall throws at ya:) I battled a very stubborn migraine for 4 days this week and so I apologize for the lack of posting. But, things are back in full swing and I have much to share!

We spent Labor Day weekend having a great time! On Friday, Megan checked back in to Hotel Burchard and we are so glad she's here:) On Saturday we headed out to the "Matthews Alive" festival. The kids had a fun time and we just enjoyed the day being together. We spent Monday hanging out with some great friends, swimming and eating, and eating and swimming. Here are some of the shots from the weekend!