Kristy turns 39!

It’s my last year in my thirties.  Wowza.  Time flies.

My birthday was on a Wednesday, and so we had school to do.  The kids would try to complain or huff about school work or chores, and I would gently remind them, “It’s my birthday,” with a smile on my face.  They would stop huffing and comply with whatever they were supposed to do.  And then there was piano and sewing and church.  Josh had a meeting with his discipleship group.  Under normal circumstances, he would have canceled and been with me.  However, due to work travel, he has missed the last five (!) meetings, so I told him he should go since he is gone next Wednesday, too.  And I decided to throw together a dinner birthday party for me.  I have never done this as an adult, but I can tell you that it was fun!  I won’t do it every year, but it was the best gift to have some of my closest friends sitting at dinner with me.

IMG_5049

I have many lovely ladies in my life that aren’t in this picture, no doubt!  I am a blessed woman to be surrounded by friends that mean so much to me and my family, but I couldn’t rent the whole restaurant!  A party of 12 would have to do.  Some of these girls are in my discipleship group…each one challenges and encourages me in wonderful ways.  One in the picture has been my longest time friend since I have been in Woodstock.  There are new friends that I am still getting to know and love to hear about them and see their personality with others.  There’s sweet, quiet ones that are kind through and through.  There are ones that I can just unload on about homeschooling and they know exactly how I feel.   Lots of them are FUNNY!!!  Some are older (not many!), and they give such wisdom in how they live their life.  All of these ladies are amazing moms with hilarious kids.  I love each of their kids so much and know that those kiddos are way blessed to have such strong, loving, patient, hard working moms!  They all make me a better person, and I thank the Lord for each of them….and so many more that He has brought into my life.  All of these ladies are in our Sunday School class and have encouraged me in my role as Sunday School teacher wife in so many ways over the past 14 years.

During dinner I tried out a “conversational tip” I heard from Michael Hyatt (they all kind of laughed when I told them we would be doing this…but they went along with it like good sports).  He says he learned it from Lucy Swindoll.  It’s called the “One Conversation Rule.”  So I announced that once we ordered our food we were going to try this rule out.  I threw out a question. “What is one risk you have taken in life?  Are you glad you took it?” I let them think about it for a while and have small talk with each other and then we started answering the question and everyone at the table listened to who was talking.  Then, sometimes there were other questions that would come out of the answer that was given.  I enjoyed it so much.  This enabled you to get to know everyone in the table a little bit more, instead of being limited to hearing from those right next to you.  I don’t know what they thought, but I thought it was amazing!  I will definitely be implementing this again.

So as I laid down last night in the bed, I closed my eyes and smiled– Grateful to God for His blessings in my life in the way of friends and family.

I thought about a moment earlier in the day when Mack brought me a piece of paper and told me I had to say  yes to what was in the paper.  I was reluctant because, as I told him, if he asked me for a million dollars, I couldn’t say yes.  He assured me it was a reasonable request, so I agreed and he gave me the paper.  I opened it and read his poem:

IMG_5028.JPG

And the back:

IMG_5029.JPG

FullSizeRender 17 copy 2.jpg

Oh my goodness.  He is so sweet.  I read the note and saw $3.00 folded up.  I was telling him how incredibly kind his gesture was, then I looked at his face and his eyes were watering and then he just started crying and hugging me and telling me that he hopes I had a great birthday.  I was crying by then, of course, and telling him that I have had a great birthday because of his sweetness.  He cried for a little more and sat with me.  He is just so tender hearted.  Josh likes to say, when Mack does something like this, “Yep.  Just like his Daddy.”  While Josh is very good to me, I don’t think his sensitivity level is anywhere near Mack’s.  We could both learn a thing or two from him.

But Josh did send me flowers!

IMG_5024.JPG

IMG_5050.PNG

He is a loving, hard-working, generous man, and I am honored to call him mine.

And I got a sweet gift from my friend and neighbor, Melissa.  She is a treasure! The picture of what a friend is.

FullSizeRender 19.jpg

So, happy birthday to me!  It was a GREAT day.  Perfect in every way.

IMG_5047.JPG

 

Mack turns 9

Mack has one more year until he enters double digits!  How can that be?  When I look at him I still see his chubby little baby self toddling around here and making hilarious faces.  What we’d do without him, I do not know.

It is so fun having a nine year old boy in the house.

IMG_4988.JPG

IMG_4979.JPG

My mom and I gave him the same card.  Great minds…

IMG_4981.JPG

A trip to the mall to pick out a couple of gifts was the highlight of his day.  He is a fun guy to celebrate!  Every time someone called and asked him, “Did you have a good birthday?”, he would say, “I had a GREAT birthday!”

HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY, MACK!   We love you.

Easter 2016

What a fun, but wet weekend down in South Georgia!  We didn’t do a traditional Easter egg hunt, but PawPaw did send the kids off together on a scavenger hunt of a few eggs when it wasn’t raining for five minutes on Saturday.  It was so nice to be together with Irvin on Easter.  He cooked AMAZING food for us all weekend.  The man can cook.  Uncle Tony was in town, too, so we got the bonus of getting to see him.  GG was looking and feeling good, and Papa Mac came out to the house one afternoon to eat and be with everyone…must say, he is doing phenomenal for 101!  Crazy.  Jason and Merrilee were there with Deacon.  We had so much fun squeezing on him.

We all went to church together on Sunday to celebrate the Jesus is alive!

IMG_4951

On Good Friday we went to a service as well.  Irvin had many friends gathering around afterwards to meet Deacon.  It was so sweet.

IMG_5038.JPG

Mack got some early birthday presents while we were there as well.  The piñata was full of cash instead of candy!  Fun!

IMG_5040.JPG

FullSizeRender 18.jpg

Happy Easter to all!

A Little Baseball

Mack is playing baseball for the first time!  He is loving it so far and keeps telling us how much fun he had.  Here are a few pictures from the day.

He is so cute.

Josh being on a baseball field brings back some memories….like, of almost every weekend while we dated. 🙂

IMG_4812

Somebody’s little brother wants to play, too.  Lucas is hilarious and too cute.

IMG_4847

The girls had a sleepover last night, hence the crazy hair and sleepy eyes. Not sure what my excuse is.  They had a great time with their friends and enjoyed watching Mack play his game.

Snapped a pretty shot of the sky as the sun was setting on this day…it’s been a good one.

IMG_4852

G-burg

Gatlinburg, baby.  We are back again.  Our trips to this area are usually centered around events hosted at The Convention Center–one being an annual event directed by the hubs, actually.  This is always a fun time for our family to come hang out with Josh and meet some wonderful people.  Why other families come here to vacation is still a mystery to me.  And I don’t mean the surrounding areas in a cabin in the mountains.  I mean, this main strip in Gatlinburg.  But I digress.

We started off by visiting with our friends, The Koesters!  Ruby spent a couple of nights with them and loved every minute with her sweet friend, Katherine.  They fed us a yummy dinner, and we got to catch up with them.  I LOVE that Ruby and Katherine have been friends for their whole lives.  A rare treasure!

We have enjoyed the GORGEOUS weather God has given us this week for the Timothy+Barnabas Retreat.  Lots of sun and warmth.

Josh, Mack and Molly did some racing on Monday.  I opted to be the picture taker.

These little crazies have been together the whole time.  They have been “helping” Mr. Chris sell some of Pastor Johnny’s materials.  They are a funny crew.

Ruby arrived and got her name tag:

IMG_4654

It was perfect and true.

The sessions have been fun for the Ladies!  Mrs. Janet always plans for a good time….and has amazing speakers come in to teach and encourage the pastor wives.

I ran into our sweet, sweet friends, The Blantons.  Love, love them and miss them!  We traveled to Israel with them a couple of years ago and had such a fun time. They were in our Sunday School class while they lived in Woodstock for about a year.  Thankful God has them in North Carolina, but we miss them!

IMG_9469FullSizeRender 18 copy

We took a ride up the Sky Lift this afternoon…it’s a G-burg tradition!

THANKFUL FOR THESE DAYS WITH MY FAMILY!

FullSizeRender 17 copy

Passover Book Recommendations

Hello!  How about a couple of book recommendations?  This season is one of my favorites–  Reflecting on Jesus, the Lamb of God, and how He sacrificed His life for me.  How can we share the story of Jesus with our families?  There are so many creative ways!  Here are two books that have helped me in my knowledge of Passover and the Feasts that God put into place and why they are still important to me as a Christian.

Check these out if you, too, are interested in this topic and how to share it with your kiddos!  The last picture is a book that shows you step-by-step how to have a Passover Feast with your family and friends.  It tells you what each part of the meal means….it’s awesome.

FullSizeRender 16FullSizeRender 14 copy

FullSizeRender 17

Happy Reading!

In The Woods

The weather all week has been BEAUTIFUL!  We are loving the sunshine and taking advantage at every turn.  There were lots of trampoline breaks from school work every day, which I welcomed.

This morning I decided that we would all go on a long walk at Lieta’s Garden.  The kids didn’t complain at all.  I love it when that happens.

As we walked, we talked and noticed.  Mack and I talked about Sam Gibley, a character in the book we just finished.  He told me what he imagined his shelter looked like while he lived in the woods.  We noticed moss and lichen on rocks and trees, which happens to be what we studied in science this week.  And we talked about being thankful for the wonderful weather and for the ability to walk such a long trail!  Mack led us the entire way, and he was proud of that. Such a trooper.

Homeschooling just about kills me on a regular basis, but I suppose I will always treasure the time we spend together throughout all of these years.  I wonder if I am teaching them as well as I should be.  I doubt my abilities and creativity, but overall, I think they are learning and growing and being challenged along the way.  They are seeing plenty of real life scenarios as we go about our days.  And we are learning how to get along…or trying to, at least.  Ruby is growing in her ability and desire to manage her own time.  I am so proud when I see her making her own lists and numbering what needs to be done first, second, third, etc.

Mack and I were butting heads the other day during math.  He was stumped on square numbers, which we have gone over five million times.  I was not patient or kind with him about it.  I gave him three pieces of paper and told him to write the square times tables until he DID know them.  And once I cooled off I told him that we would play a game to see if he actually did learn them.  We threw a tennis ball back and forth while he answered the questions…..1X1, 2X2, square root of 64, square root of 81, etc.  He loved it!

And here’s a picture capturing my view for a part of every school day:

IMG_4481.JPG

Love learning with these kids.