Saturday, October 18, 2014

God Is Good All The Time

Mark came home this weekend for a wedding and one of the first things he asked me was, "Mom!!  Why has it been so long since you've blogged??!  I miss it!"  Awwww...he does?  He teased me about it all weekend and made me promise I would update everything before the weekend was over.  It really has been a while since I have gotten on here.  I guess today I will attempt to catch up on our life over the past few months!

School started and it was confirmed that I officially have THE sweetest class on the planet.   Our parents are pretty amazing, too, and always treat us so well.  During the first few weeks of school they brought us hot apple cider and donuts from Skytop Orchard just to get our year off to a good start.

We celebrated Lindy's birthday by going to Paco's Tacos.

And we caught an end-of-summer Charlotte Knights baseball game with our neighbors.  I love that we can see the Charlotte skyline from the stadium.  It's not NYC or anything, but it's home.

My mom got pneumonia over the Labor Day weekend and was very sick.  It was a scary time for us and it took her a while to recover.  But she finally got well and is feeling much better now!

David started playing soccer, so we went to lots of his games...

And this little angel just goes along with anything and always has a smile on his face.

We went to the park and spent time outside with David, Caroline, and Will.

I was on the Deacon Selection Committee at church and had lots of meetings, and Steve was out of town a lot.  We were like ships passing in the night sometimes.  One day I walked in from a meeting and Steve had already left to go out of town.  But he left these for me on the counter because he is sweet like that.

Lindy and I went to the Farmer's Market several weekends and got lots of yummy stuff.  Lindy did the Whole 30 diet during the month of September and ate tons of fruits and vegetables.  She also brought some flowers to Sean's mom because Sean's dad was extremely sick during September and she wanted to brighten their day.

Before we knew it, October was here!

We celebrated Steve's birthday at home with dinner and a cookie cake.  He was really turning 50, but we only had 49 candles.  Haha!  I don't think he cared! :)

Then we went to Phoenix to visit Steve's twin sister, Susan.  They wanted to celebrate their 50th birthdays together. Two of Steve's other sisters came along, too!

We had so much fun while we were there just hanging out together.  Susan showed us a really great time.  We ate lots of good food, shopped, saw two movies, hiked, and did lots of sight seeing.

Susan works at an orphanage called Sunshine Acres and she actually lives on the Sunshine Acres property!  It is such a neat place.  It has lots of homes for boys and girls who live with foster families.  We toured one of the homes for the little girls while we were there.  I was so amazed.  Ten girls live in the home and each room is shared by two little girls.  The rooms looked like they were decorated by Extreme Home Makeover or something!  So cute!!

 It also has all kinds of animals like cows, goats, and horses, a school, playgrounds and parks, a boutique, a warehouse full of clothes similar to a Goodwill-type place, and a garden full of all kinds of plants that are native to Arizona.  Here I am in a cactus jungle!

This is one of the sights we saw while out on our morning walk one morning!  Seguaro cactus (cacti?) are everywhere in Phoenix!

One of the things Steve wanted to do for his birthday was a ropes course.  None of us had ever done that before.  It was definitely a challenge, but we had fun!

The night before their birthday, Susan's sweet daughter, Emma, and Steve's sister, Debbie,  made a cake to celebrate.  Susan's kids came over and we had fun singing and opening presents together.

For dinner on their birthday night, we went to the oldest saloon in Arizona.  It was so much fun and reminded me of something from Gunsmoke or some old western movie!

We also did lots of hiking...

And I saw my first live tarantula just walking down the road...

We went to Sedona, Scottsdale, and Prescott to shop and sight-see.

It was a great trip!  We brought David a little gun and holster set and gave Caroline some pink cowboy boots that I can't wait to see her in!  And we gave Will this little t-shirt!

The day we were coming back from Phoenix, Lindy called to say Sean's dad had finally lost his battle with cancer and had passed away.  I can't even tell you how sad we were to hear that news.  He was such a wonderful man and a great father to Sean.  He will be missed so much.  We spent many of the next days going to visit their family and attending his memorial service.  We know that he is healed now and he is with the Lord and for that, we are so thankful.  He had been so very sick for so long.  I am grateful that he is no longer in pain and suffering.  Still.  It's hard.

Laura came home from Boston the same day we came home from Phoenix and brought seven of her friends to stay at our house while they were on their way to the mountains.

I was so glad she was home right when Lindy needed her.  They love each other!

Despite all of that, we have been doing the normal stuff too--school, work, family times.  Last night we had Ashley and John and the kids over for dinner and a fire-pit.  We roasted marshmallows and had s'mores and gave the kids a bath over here.

There is nothing sweeter than cuddles right after bath!

These three angels bring me so much joy every day, no matter what is going on!

And, Mark came home this weekend for a wedding so I was so happy to be able to hang out with him!  He is such a sweet boy and I sure am proud of him!

So....I think that catches us up to today!  As has just been full of lots of ups and downs.  And that's the way it will always be.  And that's okay!  God is good all the time.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's That Time Of Year Again

August is just one of those months that you just have to gear up for and do your best to get through it.  Am I right??  I think after December and May, August is next on the list of busiest months.

It has been a whirlwind over the past few weeks here.  School has started again, so that means I have been working like crazy on getting my room ready, attending meetings, going to Meet The Teacher day, and getting lesson plans ready for my first few days of school.  This is the beginning of my 20th year of teaching!  Some of my very first students are now married with kids of their own!  I really can't believe I have been doing this for so long, but I am so thankful that I still love my job and I know God called me out for this exact purpose.

I have the sweetest class this year and I can't wait to have fun with them for the next school year!

This time of year is also when all of our kids start going back to college or law school or wherever they are going, so my neighbors wanted to get everybody together before all the kids left for the fall.  They had us over one night for a little get together and we had so much fun.

David was obsessed with Bobby that night.  For some reason, he decided Bobby was his BFF and it was so cute.  Look at his little hand in Bobby's arm!!  Oh my goodness...the cuteness.

We were missing Laura, Kelsey, John, and Alice,  but it was still fun to see everybody.  You probably know my neighbors by now if you have been reading my blog long.  These are our friends who are like family and all of our kids have grown up together so we love them!

This month also happens to be our anniversary month.  We have been married for 29 years!  We got married while we were still in college.  It was a rainy night and we stood there in our church just beginning this journey together and really having no idea where it would take us.

Now here we are....four kids and three grand kids later. We have had our ups and downs and highs and lows just like everyone does.   But we are still keeping the promises we made and we are still pretty crazy about each other.  To celebrate we went to the Melting Pot.  It was so good and we ate so much...oh my word.  We had fun reminiscing about all that we have done together and what an adventure these 29 years have been.

This past Thursday was our first day of school.  We only had two days this week, which is so nice.  Last night, Lindy and I got treated to a fun night by my assistant Lyndsey.  She bought me Keith Urban tickets just because she is the BEST, so Lindy and I cashed those in last night.  It worked out perfectly because Lindy's birthday is this weekend, so it we had a little early birthday celebration.

First, we had dinner at The Cowfish, which is a burger and sushi restaurant.  We both got a Bento Box which is kind of a sampler of their hamburgers AND some sushi, along with some other yummy stuff like edamame, cucumber salad, and sweet potato fries.

Then we  headed to the concert.  It was probably a million degrees last night so we were both sweating like crazy, but the concert was really, really good!

Keith Urban had to have been about to die of a heat stroke up there under those lights with his jeans and boots on, but he was so kind and performed non-stop.  He can play the guitar like none other and it was soooo good!  He shook tons of hands, gave away a signed guitar, invited people up on stage, and came out to a smaller stage in the back (near where we were!) so those fans out there could get a front row seat, too!  We were probably about 10 feet away from him.  It was such a fun night.

Next week is our first full week of school, so I am trying to get mentally prepared.  Mark has gone back to Washington and Steve has gone to the mountains for the weekend with his Fantasy Football team.  Fall is definitely right around the corner!