Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Wedding

This past Saturday night one of my little sisters married her high school sweetheart in an outside ceremony on a Ranch just north of Tampa. Our girls had the privilege of being flower girls in the ceremony and I loved watching them walk down the aisle prior to my sister.

The reception was held in both a tent and a barn on the property. The kids and even Daune and I danced the night away. I also got to use some of my wedding consultant skills at the event ... even getting to cut and slice the wedding cake.

The only sad note from the weekend was the fact that my brother, Donnie, was involved in a serious car accident on the way to the airport early Saturday morning. He had coached a football game the night before and was out super late. He had just nodded off when his alarm went off to head to the airport. He did not make it far before falling asleep at the wheel. We are so thankful to God that he is alive and no one else was involved in the accident. He did sustain a concussion but, he is going to be o.k. This is Donnie's 4th concussion ... he had 3 others while playing college football at the University of Maryland.

Though, we were all sad that Donnie was not at the wedding it was so great catching up with so many of my siblings that I do not get to see regularly. My brother Sean and his wife, Sara flew in from Oklahoma with their two adorable daughters who hit it off big with our kids. We had never met the two little girls but, by the end of the first night Lexi was asking how far Oklahoma was and when could we fly to see them.

It is so hard to get a family of ten kids all together at one time ... we almost did it this past weekend! :)

Here is a picture of my Mom and Dad. Don't they look great for two people who have raised ten children!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home Again

We are home from our trip to Florida for my sister's wedding. The wedding was beautiful as was my sister, Carissa. Hard to believe that 18 years ago she was a flower girl in my wedding. The only craziness was the fact that my brother, Donnie, was involved in a serious car accident on his way to the airport the day of the wedding ... but, that is the topic of another post for another day.

Today, I wanted to share with you all a wonderful field trip we took while in Florida. We were able to get away on Thursday and head to Tampa to The Museum of Science and Industry or MOSI as it is known in those parts.

We spent our whole day at this wonderful location. We arrived around 10 am and did not head back to our hotel until 4 pm. We took in a great IMAX called Kilimanjaro on a Domed Screen which really made you feel like you were there (almost like Soarin at Epcot), visited all the exhibits, had lunch and last, but, not least, the Planetarium. The kids are still talking about this great field trip and so want to return ... Ava Mae says tomorrow we must drive there. Here is our day in pictures:

All important breakfast before heading to the museum ...

Touch a Cloud ...

We learned how to milk a cow on this plastic version ...

Ava Mae needed no instruction on how to play the drums ...

Lexi and Ava Mae were fascinated by this tornado ...

Ava Mae's favorite exhibit was the dinosaur teeth ... she said this is what she wants for Christmas.

The kids learned how a green screen works ...

And had fun getting to do a forecast ...

I forgot what this taught but, we were spinning tops and balancing them on a very thin piece of metal ...

Lexi and I experience hurricane force winds inside this tube ... our hair looked great for the rest of the day.

Half Devin ... Half Lexi ...

Ava Mae and Devin playing life size Checkers ...

Ancient Egypt Photo Op ...

Butterfly Garden ... our last stop of the day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fitting It All In

I am reading a great book right now called "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver. I freely admit that many times I take on more than I can handle but, I always feel, especially when it is something related to church that I am doing God's work. I am only a few chapters into the book but, I am realizing that overextending myself volunteer wise is not necessarily doing what God wants me to do.

As I am looking at my "to-do" list again, as I prepare for our family to head to Florida on Wednesday for a wedding, I am trying to figure out how I am going to get all of my volunteer committments and personal committments done. I am praying for God's wisdom in showing me what it is that truly needs my attention and what I can let go.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying. "This is the way, walk in it." ISAIAH 30:21

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Catching Up

Wow ... the last two weeks of school seem to have flown by. I have been lax in keeping up with my blog so I thought I would write a quick entry before getting the kids ready for bed.

Our first month of school has come and gone and I feel like we are finally into a good routine. Devin and Lexi can pretty much get started in the morning without a run down of how the school day is going to go. Ava Mae comes and goes now. In the beginning she wanted to do school work just like Devin and Lexi but, she is now happy to just pick and choose what she does with us. At the moment, that is our bible lesson and any memorization work. She has memorized two poems so far "The Butterfly" by Christina Rossetti and "Work". Ava Mae likes to put dance movement to our poems and her interpretations are always, at the least, comical to watch. In wanting to be totally transparent, I should also say that when Ava Mae is good she is very very good but, when she is bad ... well let's just say "watch out". ;0 Lately, we have been dealing with her very disobedient heart. I am just hoping and praying that the end of the terrible 3's is approaching along with her 4th birthday.

Right now, for our cultural study we are learning about Spain. We are reading a great book called "The Story of Ferdinand". It is set in Spain and written over 50 years ago. It is truly a sweet story. Along with our study of Spain will come a cooking lesson to go along with it and we have chosen Tapas. I am uncertain if we will actually get to that before heading out of town next week but, I am hoping to.

The kids are also fully involved in all their Fall Activities now ... that includes - ballet/tap for both girls; gymnastics for Lexi; baseball for Devin and choir/mission for all three kids. The only real craziness with that is Devin's ever changing baseball schedule during the week. Thankfully, my husband is a huge help in that area as he is also helping with Devin's team.

Next week, we are off to Florida for my sister's wedding. Both girls are in the wedding and are so excited. The wedding is taking place on a horse farm and has a country theme. Lexi and Ava Mae will both be wearing cowboy boots and hats along with their white flower girl dresses. I am so excited to be able to visit with all of my siblings over the weekend. It has been years since we were all together. With nine siblings the logistics of getting everyone together is pretty difficult to say the least. So, we will enjoy all being together for this wonderful occasion of my sister's marriage. While we are in Florida we are also throwing in an educational field trip to MOSI. Which is The Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Florida. It is the largest science museum in the Southeast and it houses this really fun room where you get to go in and experience hurricane force winds. I can remember taking field trips to this museum when I was in elementary school so it will be fun to share this with our kids.