Monday, September 28, 2015

Jersey Boys.. and Girl!

Remember that Sunday where Andrew discovered that he had a Saints jersey??  And then he found two of them in his closet??  And then, "Dad, do you have a jersey like me?" came.  And before you knew it, it was the most important thing in all the world to one little boy that everyone get dressed in the same jersey??

Well, these are the pictures from that day.

I don't know what's going on here, but these faces makes me laugh!!

Seriously?!  Does life get any better than this??

Mom, can we play a little football in the house?!

That. Face.

I just don't think they come any cuter.

And then, what do you know?!  Sister found her jersey, too!!  And one of the greatest pictures of my life happened here:


I don't think the Saints were even playing this day..
but MY Saints sure were!! ;)

With four boys in the house, I am almost certain the the universal mom rule of "No playing ball in the house" is NOT going to fly around here!

I actually DO have a Saints jersey, but in the midst of snapping pictures, I worked on our TGP Nursery Volunteer gifts.  Hez came up with this idea and I spent the afternoon putting them together! I loved how they turned out!!!

And that's how an ordinary Saturday becomes just a little more special.

Friday, September 25, 2015

29 and Counting

After returning home from our Arkansas vacation, we celebrated my 29th birthday with the family!!  Wade cooked a delicious Mexican meal..

...complete with a sparkling, fruity punch drink!  My favorite!!

Mom made a delicious Texas sheet cake..

.. and Kate blew out my candles since she clearly thought we were still celebrating her!  Haa!!
Love my sweet family who makes big deals out of birthdays.. because they really are big deals!!  Counting my blessings, I'm so thankful for the many, many gifts God has given me in my 29 years.  May I never take them for granted.. and may they never become my idols.  Instead, I pray these gifts always bring my focus back to the Greatest Gift Giver.

Continuing with our homeschool, Grant, Andrew, and Savannah gather in the living room every morning for "Rug Time," where we begin our day with a Bible story.  We are currently going through The Big Picture Storybook Bible, as recommended by Heather!  We love it!!  Savannah gets to practice her oral reading fluency while also learning God's word!  Perfect!!  Grant clearly loves it, too, hahaa!

This particular morning, we learned all about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

We talked about the fruit they were told not to eat, how they disobeyed God, and how they tried to hide from Him:

But God sees and knows everything we do..
He knows exactly where we are!

And although they had to leave the Garden of Eden, God promised that one day, He would send a Savior to crush the serpent's head and make all things right again!  Our precious Jesus!!

Retelling the story, acting it out, drawing pictures, and writing out Scriptures are all ways to reinforce the stories, principles, and qualities of God in the minds and hearts of my kids!  So simple, but I am praying it makes such a huge impact in their lives!

And then it was math time!! :))

One afternoon, the kids got out their bibles and said, "Let's have bible study!!"  

Forget chores and forget lunch... there was no way I was stopping this!!

Another night, we set up camp in the LIVING ROOM!

Camping in the air-conditioned, cushioned room with a view of the tv makes being outdoors so overrated. ;)

Even Baby Grant enjoyed his time in the tent!

And of course, when you have a camp out, you should always wake up to fresh donuts with Dad.

I love these sweet days at the end of summer.. 
And not just because it's my birthday. ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Arkansas Family Vacation - Catapults, River Walks, and Fried Chicken

The final post from our Arkansas vacation:

Heading over to our last few sections before it was time for our science class at the Museum of Discovery, the kids got to see this drum full of white powder that was popping and bubbling all over!

Something about heat and pressure.. but it was so neat, ha!

There was a small animal section:



So horrible, I KNOW.


We tried to build an earthquake-resistant building out of steel squares and pipes.  You put it on this plate and then it would shift and jerk like a real earthquake.  A camera videoed it and you could watch it back, seeing exactly when/if your building crumbled!


We built this bad boy three times, even using the magnetic shields... we were not good.  It fell every time, ha!

Finally!!  It was time!!  Our Wiggle Worms Science Class!!!

We learned all about fulcrums and catapults..  big words for BIG FUN!



Meanwhile, Grant helped me take care of Samuel...

The kids had homemade catapults made out of blocks, clothespins, and bottle caps! So creative!!  If I lived anywhere near there, we would be going to class every Thursday!  It was so great and the kids so enjoyed it!!!  Grant also discovered his love for yogurt melts there.

After class, we headed back up for a few more minutes of play time..

Grant was petrified of the big cow, hahaa!!

But Daddy helped him to be brave and he rode it!!  For all of 4 seconds! ;))


Best little buddies just scooting around together.

Well, well, well... look who we found!!!!!!!

"Mom! Take my picture!!  I'm a pirate and these are my pelicans..." 

Rock climbing in her long dress.. what a woman!


Throwing coins down the big circle drain..

...anything to stop us from leaving.  Ha!

Precious Grandmonty and Poppa sent us money for Arkansas souvenirs and this is what the kids each picked out from the Gift Shop!!

We enjoyed the museum so very much.

One day, we will be back!!

At 5:00 in Little Rock, we decided to walk along the river and try to find treasures along the way..
Like these, for example:



Little Rock sure is proud of their iron statues!


On a bridge overlooking the Arkansas River..

We then came across the coolest/scariest park ever.

Samuel enjoyed his time there like this:

But the three big kids were crazy in love!!  Basically, there were big slides, climbing boulders, and a splash pad.. sounds great, right??  Except the way to get to them all was through the UNDERGROUND TUNNELS.

Kids could slide down, enter a tunnel, and decide which of the 5 different directions they wanted to go once they were inside! 

See the tunnel entrance??  The kids could disappear in a second!  This place about gave me a nervous breakdown, but seriously??  This has to be the kind of place kids dream about!

Hahaa, Wadie can't hold on much longer!!!

You can do it, honeyyyyy!!! ;))

Apparently we were in Peabody Park... like the place with the DUCKS!


Continuing our walk, we found this hidden beauty..

Our little Poole tribe.

Speaking of hidden gems, we decided to hit up the local Little Rock pizzeria and headed that way...
when what to our wondering eyes did appear but GUS'S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN right across the street!!!  We smelled the chicken, heard the music, and immediately our path was made straight into a booth at Gus's!

When you are tired and far, far from home, this is all you need to feel all cozy and comfy again.
Ohhhh, how beautiful.

After an incredibly healthy dinner of fried chicken, mac and cheese, fried okra, and white bread, we drove home, soaked in the hot tub, and talked about everything we had seen and learned that day.  The next morning, it was drizzling as we loaded up the car, but our spirits were high.  We had hiked, seen amazing things, eaten at great places, and rested in a way that we hadn't experienced all summer.

I'm so thankful for this precious family: my four little arrows, and their father who lets us always know just how important and special we are to him.

The hardest part of our trip??  Deciding where to go on our next family vacation.  If you don't schedule it, it just doesn't happen and life is too short to not spend some solid, quality time with those you love most in the world.  

The easiest part of our trip??  Simply being together.  
Hiking. Soaking.  Joking.  Discovering. Resting. 
TOGETHER.

About Me

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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.