Where are we going?

About a week ago I had planned for a "Destination Unknown" trip for the Sr. High students in my Sunday School class.  They did not know where we were going, just that we were going to leave at 9am and be back around 8:30pm,  they were to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring $25.  ;-)  I think I had much more fun keeping it a secret than they did trying to guess where we were going.  
That morning we left a little um . . .later than I had planned, mostly my fault (oops)  We drove a little ways and had a picnic at a fun park I had found online.  (I'm so thankful for the GPS!! The park was in downtown of a big city!)  It was unbelievably hot already and I'm so thankful for the little bit of shade we found! (We found out later the heat index for that day was 107!  I am so ready for some soup and sweater weather!!!)  At the park I finally did tell the youth where we were going. (I think they were starting to get annoyed at the whole secrecy thing ;-)

 Picnic at the Park

Here Miriam is eating her first sandwich!!!  She took the cutest dainty bites!

Discovery Place

Our next stop on our trip was to the Discovery Place.  I had never been before, so was a little apprehensive as to whether or not the youth would enjoy it or not. (It is so hard to tell sometimes!)  This place was amazing!! They had things for all ages and I could have easily spent all day in there with my kiddos.  The youth took off so my little ones and I walked around a bit.  Isaac loved the aquarium part.  DP also had an awesome area for 0-7 year olds, which I was planning on going back to if Miriam was too fussy to stay in the IMAX theatre.  (But she was long overdue for a nap and slept through most of the IMAX feature :)
I loved watching Isaac gaze in the aquariums!  He was studying them carefully!

The Rainforest

Concord Mills & Education Express
Our next and final stop on the trip was the Concord Mills mall.  It is one of the neatest ones I've been to and is in the shape of a racetrack.  The youth loved it (I think this might have been their favorite part)  We ate supper in the food court and headed home after a little more shopping. 

OK,  so . . . . .It had been a few years since I'd been to this mall and they had an Education Express store.  Well the store is still there, but it is at least twice the size it was!!! I felt like a kid in a candy store!!!  I didn't want to appear too nerdy and take a bunch of pictures of the store (or get made fun of by my hubby when he looked at the pictures ;)  so I just took this one . . . but it is a whole row of bulletin board decor!!!  At the other end of the store was a whole wall dedicated to Melissa and Doug toys. . ."sigh".   I'll just stop while I'm ahead . . . but I LOVED it!!

The whole gang . . after a LONG day . . but they were good sports and I think they enjoyed themselves (I think) 


VBS: The Incredible Race


This year we had a great turnout for VBS!  It started on a Sunday evening and went through Wednesday evening.  Our theme for the week was The Incredible Race!  We averaged over 40 kids in attendance each night and almost that many volunteers!! Aaron and I had the special privilege this year to be able to sit back a little and just enjoy it!  There was a great team of leaders that did all the planning, prep work, decorating, and leading of Bible School this year.  Our personal involvement was probably the least it has ever been (on the planning end of it).DSCF6563  It was such a blessing to see the church body work together like it is supposed to and we had a wonderful VBS as a result!!  One child came to accept the Lord for the first time and five re-committed their lives to Christ.   It was a fruitful VBS and a joy to attend.  We had a nursery for the volunteer’s kids and so I was able to go around and take pictures all week and then help Aaron two nights while he did the lesson time.  Out mission project this year was the Race to End Hunger.  The four teams (red, blue, green, and yellow) collected can goods for our local food pantry all week for a total of over 820 cans!! 


DSCF6521  We had a great team of volunteers that worked in the snack area.  Loved the race cars made out of swiss cake rolls!!




One of our storytime volunteers.  (This is Jonah ;)  The kids learned about courage with David, obedience with Jonah, forgiveness with Onesimus’s story,  and being faithful to run the race with Jesus.



And of course my kiddos had a great time as well.  Here they are doing one of their favorite activities . . .snack time!!  (These were little jell-o cups with gummy fish at the bottom for the day we learned about Jonah.)


If you will notice the orange cones in the top left corner of this picture. . . ALL WEEK!  Isaac would go over there and say “clean up!” and he would stack the cones one on top of the other.  I would tell him he didn’t have to clean these up and put them back around the tree.  I wouldn’t even have them spread back out again and he would say “clean up!” and start stacking again! . . . I guess I should be thankful ;-)


To My Baby Girl

It was one year ago today when you woke me up at 3 am to let me know you were ready to meet me face to Hospitalface.  I had looked forward to this day for months, my baby girl was on her way.  Things happened quickly. Within an hour of waking up my contractions were a strong and steady 5 minutes apart.  We arrived at the hospital and admitted by 6 am.  You seemed to be coming quickly and I was thankful!  By 8 am I decided I was not going to try and be Superwoman, I would really like an epidural to help with all the pain your arrival was bringing me.  Everything was progressing normally and safely, but by 2 pm my doctor said that I had Isaac and Miriam not progressed in over 6 hours and you were not far enough down.  He recommended another C-Section.  The surgery was not a pleasant experience, but hearing your first beautiful cry was breathtaking.  I was so glad you had arrived safely and I couldn’t wait to hold you in my arms.  You were born at 2:07 pm, weighing 8 lbs and 15 oz.  and 20 3/4 inches long.  The hospital was extremely busy that day, there were other young babes coming to meet their moms and dads, so we did not get the special recovery room where you could be with me.  I had to wait a couple of hours to hold you the first time but it was so worth the wait.  Our hospital stay was pleasant, the food edible, and the nurses were wonderful.  We had a Family n Hospital favorite nurse that worked the night shift that took especially good care of us and made sure we got as much rest as possible.   Your grandparents, Aunt Hollie, and brother all came to see you at the hospital along with some of our church family.  We brought you home just a few short days after you were born. 



On the way home

You were so wide awake and alert, even from those first few days.  Here you are in your car seat for the first time and ready to go home!

First time in bed

This is your first time in your own bed.  (wearing your “I’m the little sister onsie =)

Dressed Up

Here you are at 2 months old with your amazing dark eyes and kissable cheeks! (Your other nick-name is “Sweetcheeks” ;)


You have the most beautiful smile in the world and it makes my day brighter!  Here you are at about 4 months. 

miriam 1 

You absolutely LOVE to play!  All the toys we had from your brother were “boy” colors.  I was so excited to buy you a few “girlie” toys, including your favorite pink blocks.

Miriam 2

You were crawling by 8 months and pulling up soon after.  I had to take your mobile down soon after this picture was taken to keep you from tearing it up! You were trying to use it to pull yourself up.


You are absolutely precious to us.  You are a beautiful gift and I pray that we will raise you to love God with all your heart and seek after Him.  Some days I whisper in your ear that you are precious and loved.  That you are God’s treasure and that He rejoices over you with singing.  I pray that these truths take deep root in your heart and that you will grow up to become a strong woman that knows you are loved by your Heavenly Father and your earthly family.

Edited Happy Miriam Jul 4

Your joy and smiles are contagious.  When I walk into your room in the morning I am greeted by your beautiful smile and amazing hugs.  You are such a snuggler!!  I love how you wrap your arms around me neck and lay your head down on my shoulder and squeeze.  I love your giggles when I hug you back.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the day :-)


You are becoming such a ham!  Your personality is really beginning to come out.  


I am amazed at how much you have grown in just one short year.  You are becoming so independent.  You have eight teeth, are learning how to walk, and putting EVERYTHING in your mouth.  You have already moved on to a sippy cup and eating all table foods now.  You had your first sandwich yesterday!! You are saying Mama and Dada when your daddy or I walk into the room.  You are waving and saying Bye-Bye.  You have an adorable giggle that makes my heart feel like it is going to burst each time I hear it. 


You brother absolutely adores you and can’t go to sleep until he has given you a hug and kiss.  I pray you two will always be close.  You love to wrestle with each other and I wouldn’t be surprised if you win a round or two.  You make our family complete.  I love baby girl and I thank God everyday that He has give you to us to raise.


Happy 1st Birthday Snugglebug!

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Letter of the Week: A



Isaac is 29 months

Miriam is 11.75 ;) months

This past week (like normal) has been quite a crazy week.  We had VBS at church Sunday evening through Wednesday evening, and then my parents also came in on Friday evening to celebrate Miriam’s first birthday a little early.  We worked on the letter “A” this week, and even though we didn’t get through all the activities I had planned, I can confidently say that Isaac can recognize and and say the sounds of the letter “A”.  I had debated whether to work another week on this letter and at first had decided against it because I knew he had caught on.  As I am now in the middle of another crazy week, where our mornings have been busy doing other things, we will do a few more activities for “A” and start on “B” next week.  (All my printables are ready to go!! Hooray! )  As my husband says, Repetition is learning. . . so we will be doing a little repeat this week ;-)

Foam Bath Letters


We use these weekly, normally a few times a week!  The kids love them! We sort by color, put them in alphabetical order, call out the names of the letters, etc.  When they get a little older, I can call out the name of the letter and they can search for it.  So many things we can do with these!


We Love Magnets!!


Isaac and I worked on using the magnets to form the letter “A”.  I also showed him that the black side was the magnet and it went down on the paper.  He was too cute . . .After that, he would turn the magnet around until he found the black side and then put that side down!  He’s a quick learner!


All printables this week were from Erica’s Letter of the Week Curriculum!

Letter of the Week badge

Playing with Pom-Pom’s

Isaac discovered that there were much more fun ways to use the magnetic Pom-poms than mom had planned on. ;-)


It is a lot more fun to dump them all out, look at the pretty fluffy colors, and use the plastic container as a hat. 


They also make especially good ear-plugs.   


And then if you really want to, you can put them on the page to make a Letter “A”.

Let’s Color 




Coins in a Jar


I got this idea from Nicole, another Tot School mom. I cut a slit in a plastic container lid and we brought out the coin jar I keep on the kitchen counter. 


After a while Isaac decided it was easier to just put them back in the glass jar ;-)



Differing Opinions


I brought out our pocket chart and some matching shape cards. I had made the cards out of a bulletin board border that I got at the Dollar Tree.  The idea was to have Isaac match them up, but he wasn’t real interested in doing that.  I would talk through it with him as I matched them up and he would take them back out of the pocket chart :-P


DSCF6743 I had pulled out this “A” sorting game where you sort the capital letter from the lowercase letter.  As you can tell from the pic, we got through it, but Isaac was wanting to play with the magnets that were sitting on the table ;-)

Have I mentioned how much he loves magnets?


Here he is with his magnets again.  On this particular occasion he preferred the block magnets to the pom-poms.  So we were putting the “squares” inside the “circles” to make the letter “A”.


Even with our crazy schedule this past week I really felt that Isaac learned a lot and we had fun doing it.  My mom, not knowing we had been working on the letter A, asked Isaac on Friday to find the letter A among our fridge magnets.  He immediately found the A and handed it to her.  Love it!

To see what other moms are doing in Tot School this week, check out the official Tot School site!

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Everyday Life



We  found this Bob The Builder sheet set the other weekend at a flea market.  “Bob” is his new favorite “oovie”.  (*movie* but he still leaves the “m” off, so it comes out “oovie” ;-)




Isaac reading the paper ;-)



Miriam watching Isaac reading the paper in her big girl seat!!



Isaac is very popular with the ladies ;-)



Here he is helping me, and was actually a help! (If that makes sense)  I had bought two laundry hampers to go in my laundry room and I was putting them together.



He helped by pulling all the paper off the rods and then tried to put it together for me.



She’s growing up WAY too fast!  She likes to crawl up in our mini rocking chair now!







She looks like she knows what she’s doing, doesn’t she!?



Getting into the toy box and dragging everything out ;-)



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