Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Heart

This afternoon Mike called me and notified me that one of our challenger baseball players had won the Little league District 1 courage award. I was so excited and scrambled around to notify his family to be there for the ceremony. 
I had my good Nikon charged and ready because I knew I needed to take pictures for the newspaper. I had on denim shirts and an old shirt when mike came home to get us for the ceremony. I did not think it mattered what I wore because I imagined myself taking photos in the background. Mike nicely suggested that I should put on something nicer because Mikey's  family may want a picture of me with him.  Needless to say I was stunned when my name was also announced to receive the Challenger award and it made perfect sense as to why my husband sweetly suggested I needed an outfit upgrade :)
Here is Mikey getting his award. I think he was generally overwhelmed with all the attention! As I am typing this happy tears still are in my eyes. Special needs children do not have many opportunities to receive recognition and to see all those players and fans rooting for this kid who has melted all of our hearts just touched me. 
I am touched to receive my award but the real joy is in knowing that Challenger was ordained by God and I was simply  chosen as the one He used to to do the legwork on it. These amazing special needs children are a gift from Him to teach us all some important life lessons like love, patience, joy, and His glory. 

Mikey was a little overwhelmed and emotional about all the attention he received tonight. Watching him bat each and every game is a memory none of us will ever forget. 

Each and every game Mikey would insist to bat independently. He has severe CP and it takes great effort and focus for him to lift that heavy bat and hit that ball off of the tee. His ball never went more than a foot or two but for him it was a home run- look at the joy on his face!! When I am  old and gray one day Rocking on my front porch, will never forget watching this child be a ball player. To God be the glory! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Outside sunshine!

The last four days have been spent outside enjoying the beautiful weather God has blessed us with.  I will never complain about the heat! 

Thursday we spent the day at Hungry Mother State park having an awesome day camp with our church.  We had a day long camp day to learn about putting on the armor of God.  We are so blessed with a thriving children's ministry at church that gives our kids lots of opportunity for learning and fun. 
Hope had such fun with a group of girls from church.  I am thankful that my kids will have christian friends from church to grow up with. 
I asked to do the bible lesson and activities because I love to lesson plan and I love to be crafty.  I found this cute craft on Pinterest!  The balloon would be so easy to pop without its armor on!  My favorite part of the armor of God is the helmet of salvation. I love the visual that we are protected by salvation from God. 

After a wonderful day at day camp with our church friends, we loaded up Friday to head to Yogi Bear camp in Natural Bridge for a weekend of camping for Hope's birthday.  She chose a weekend camping instead of having a party this year. 

Here was our home for the weekend.  We love camping so much-we admit that we are too prissy for tent camping:)  We love the time away from home, being together and making memories. 

Our cabin was small but had a loft for the kids to sleep in.  They loved getting up there together:)  GG and Pops went with us and they had their own cabin nearby.  GG is very prissy and camping is not her love. We give her an A for effort for going! 

The kids loved the waterpark at Yogi Bear.  There is so much to do for all ages. 

This little love turned six and she waited so patiently to open her presents. I simply cannot believe she is six already.....

They also had such fun on the big bouncing pillow.  There is putt putt, a lake to swim in, an obstacle course on the lake, playgrounds, basketball, and lots of planned activities to do each day planned by the staff.  No one should be bored while camping at Yogi Bear:)

The boys and Pops were in charge of our campfire each night because boys love fire?! We lost count how many smores David ate this weekend.  Family time around a campfire after a fun day outside is just precious to me.

Kyle is 13.  Thirteen can be a such a difficult age.  Kyle's interests have changed-no longer does he love a waterpark or swimming.  Hanging out with the family is not as cool, but Kyle certainly loves his Pops.  I love that I captured this sweet moment of Pops teaching Kyle some fishing wisdom.  We did fish Saturday morning but we did not catch anything. 

This. picture. melts. my. heart.  David also loves him some Pops and this picture sums up the sweetness between these two. Quality time together is why I love camping:)

These crazy fish loved the pool! 
At the pool Saturday we met Lauren and her Dad.  She is just a year older than David and she spotted us because she thought Kyle was cute:)  We had such fun with them. 

Saturday night we danced our hearts out at the beach party on the beach with Yogi and Boo Boo.  GG, Lauren, David, Hope and myself danced until we almost dropped.  What a fun place! 

Instead of cooking breakfast we went and had breakfast with Yogi this morning.  The food was great and there was time for a photo op:)  Hope was safe in her Daddy's arms when this picture was taken.  She loves Yogi from a distance:)

We are so thankful for summer because it blesses us with time to have fun with our church friends and to spend time together as a family.  Time is flying by so fast that I know we will never regret a moment we spent together as a family having adventures and making memories. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back to Life

After being away on the mission trip for a week it has been a challenge  to ease back into life. While on the mission trip all you have to focus on is God and serving others. We want to keep that same intensity for the Lord when we get home, but dirty laundry, dirty bathrooms, meals to cook, and well just life, gets in the way. 

Kyle had only been home from the mission trip for about two hours, when he had to suit up in his river dogs uniform and head to the state tournament. I will never know how he played on such little sleep but he did great. They won both games on Saturday.
Sunday they had to win both games to win the state tournament. They won their first game by a very close margin, and advanced to the championship. The championship game was tied at three runs each going into extra innings. The bases were loaded and my sweet Kyle came up to bat. I was so nervous for him. As he came up to bat the umpire stopped the game due to lightning. We then had to take shelter and stay there for well over an hour. Poor Kyle said he wanted to throw up the whole rain delay because he knew when he went back it was his turn to bat. After an extended rain delay and then time for each team to warm up the game finally resumed. Kyle came up to bat finally and our sweet little guy hit a three run triple to seal the win for the team. It was a wonderful win for this awesome river  dogs team. They had all played their hearts out. 
Kyle is not a huge picture taker or a big smiler, so this Picture is precious to me. After two long days of baseball on very little sleep for Kyle they pulled it out and won the state  tournament. We are so proud of this team full of awesome, godly boys. 

In other news hope has started the developmental swim team this summer!! She had her first lesson on Monday and she loved it. 

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Pughs house to play beauty shop to get ready for their dance recital! 
Misty rocked the girls makeup and I attempted to give them cinnamon buns in their hair. 
Then our ballerinas hit the stage to dance their I'm A Little Teapot tap dance and then they were frogs for the studios production of The Little Mermaid. Their ballet dance was to the song Kiss the Girl. 
Hope asked the other night at the dinner table who was going to get her flowers!! Ha! Daddy got on that and showed up with pretty flowers for our sweet dancer. 

It was so hot yesterday but these girls rocked it and were such sweet frogs. We are so thankful for such sweet friends and we even celebrated with the Pughs and GG and Pops at Cracker Barrell. What a fun night! ❤️

Friday, June 19, 2015

Closing up camp

The last two days have been amazing here in Clarksville. Thursday was water day at VBS and it was such muddy fun. 

Before the water activities we just had fun with the kids doing arts and crafts, mails, and of course, soccer! Here is my sweet boy painting nails of a precious little vbs camper. We all decided that nail painting is not Kyles spiritual gift, but it was precious. 

Water day was such a blast at VBS! We made a homemade tarp water slide and our youth and the kids had a blast! 

We spent hours on the hot and dusty soccer field. These kids take soccer very seriously and here is Kyle with Josue playing soccer. josue is also going into 8th grade and he and Kyle have exchanged cell phone numbers and snap chat. 

This is a very sweaty me with the precious Stacy. She asked for my phone and put her address in it so I would write her. She quizzed me on my Spanish and taught me some more! 

Our youth had a blast with these amazing kids. ❤️ we all had a hard time saying goodbye when VBS was over. 
Thursday night we celebrated a wonderful week of work by eating Mexican food before closing chapel. Our group had a total of 25 and we have laughed a lot, had a few dramatic moments, worked hard, and tried to show the love of Jesus as we strengthened our own faith. This has been an amazing experience I will never forget. 

After eating Mexican we came back to co for closing chapel. We are so thankful to report that one of our youth said yes to Christ and committed her life to Him. We all were overjoyed!! 
Today has been a free day of fun and we went to the small, alpine town of Helen Georgia to tube down the river. Tubing was such fun even if I did have bathing suit issues. Bathing suits need to fit snugly to tube :) 
Our entire group ready to
Load the bus to tube! 
Tonight we are cleaning our cabins and having a closing campfire. We took our staff member, Allie, to dinner where they just happen to have karaoke set up!!! Our girls and Allie sang Uptown Funk! 
Closing campfire! 
Kyle and sweet Landon
Closing campfire s'mores! This has been such an amazing experience for us all! Thank you God for blessing us with this opportunity to practice living the demonstrated life ❤️

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday in Clarksville

Wednesday in Clarksville has been hot yet amazing. Most of our group went to vbs (except for my amazing construction group) and had an awesome time with them. We ended our day earlier due to the heat index. My car said 106 when we finished for the day. 

At vbs we played cards with the kids, did arts and crafts, and just spent time connecting with them. Many of the parents work at the nearby chicken farm and one of the moms shared with us Today that there  are many doctors and lawyers who were trained in Mexico and then came to America because they can earn more money working in the chicken factory here versus doing their  trained profession in Mexico. 
Here are me and Victoria extremely hot and sweaty but so blessed by these children at vbs. 

As a teacher I have loved every moment of bible school. The kids range in age from 2-15 and often the bigger siblings bring the younger ones to vbs. 

The youth were instructed to connect with the kids and Randon worked on this elaborate sidewalk chalk art with some kids.
Puppies and children- I was in heaven ❤️
Yesterday the bible story was on Joseph and our youth taught the lesson. 
This is one of the funniest pictures of our whole trip. These guys are between the ages of 13-15. They take care of their younger sisters during the day. The trailer park is so large that they load up their sisters in their car seats and drive them around visiting. They are not legal drivers but they stay within the confines of the trailer park. 
I have tears in my eyes even looking at this picture. This trip has been amazing bonding time with my oldest. He has not always appreciated my loud drama, but it has been a joy to serve the lord withh this amazing young man. Time invested in our children or time spent serving the lord is precious.
I have enjoyed my girls in my cabin so much. They are precious young women who have taught me so much. We are so hot and tired but we are strengthening our faith and trying to show the love of Jesus here in Georgia.