Monday, June 25, 2012

Annual Conference 2012

Last week was our annual trip to the mountains for Drew’s ministers’ meeting.  Before we left we had some fun around here.

Monday Lindy had PT in the afternoon.  I had to take Will with me and he actually did pretty good.  I know he thinks Lindy is just playing around, even though she is working hard.   She did well in PT.  We worked on getting up from one knee and not using hands and standing on one foot.  After we left PT we ran a couple errands.

Tuesday we got to pretend we had our own private swimming pool.  We hung out at the same pool we went to the week before for the swimming lesson with LeeAnn.  Their entire family is on a long vacation in Hawaii and her dad said we could use the pool while they are gone.  We ate lunch and then went and swam for a couple hours.  The kids had a lot of fun and we worked on swimming.  Will is the most cautious thing in the world but I did get him to jump off the side of the pool without holding my hands.  I had to practically pinky swear to not let him go under.  He had fun once he trusted me.  The more we hang out at a pool the more they’ll become comfortable in the water and the better swimmers they’ll become.

Wednesday morning the kids and I headed up to Lake Junaluska in the NC mountains.  It’s just west of Asheville.  The Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church has their annual business meeting up there every year.  For the last seven years we have stayed with one of our best friends, Katie, at her parents’ house.  Katie, Micah, and Claire all went up on Monday afternoon and they were waiting on us to arrive.  Drew should have been going with us that morning but we had a very sick church member and he could not leave.  

We got up there Wednesday around lunchtime and I watched all four kids at the house for the afternoon.  Katie was getting ordained this year and she had lots of business meetings and special services she needed to be at.  I helped her out by watching Micah and Claire a few times for her.  Wednesday night we ate dinner at the house and the kids all played together. 

Thursday morning we got up and headed down to the lake and we played some putt-putt while waiting for the pool to open.  We went swimming and had fun.  The pool was great for the kids.  There was a 1.5 foot section and then the whole shallow end was only 3 feet deep.  Thursday afternoon turned into quite the fun afternoon.  All the kids, except Lindy, had some kind of meltdown or attitude most of the day!  We loaded them up in our van and headed out to do a couple errands and a little shopping.   We almost dropped them all off on our outing!!  That evening I took the kids in the stroller and we walked down to the lake and we walked around the lake. It’s 2.7 miles around the lake. It was a beautiful evening out. There is the steepest hill ever going back to the house and I barely made it up pushing the stroller. I guess working out has helped! Kris, Katie’s husband, got there on Thursday night.

Friday morning Katie and I got up and walked around the lake while Kris watched the kids.  Then we all headed back to the swimming pool.   We got run out of the pool by lightning and thunder and got back to the house before it rained.  After it cleared up we headed back down to the putt-putt course and met up with Janice.  Mike and Janice were laity delegates from their church.  We played a full 18 holes of putt putt and then hung out in the shade because it got steamy hot after the rain storm.  We went out to dinner with Mike and Janice at one of our usual spots, Butts on the Creek.  It’s a tradition to eat there and take a picture of the kids by the sign.   Unfortunately our church member passed away on Wednesday morning and her funeral was on Friday afternoon.  Drew did head up to the mountains Friday night to join us.

Saturday morning I went for another walk around the lake and then we got ready and headed out to lunch.  Lindy and I ran a couple errands and Drew took Will to play more putt-putt.  Will loved the putt-putt.  They played 3 more rounds while they were there.  Saturday evening was the ordination service where Katie was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church.  We got ready and headed to the service and we met up with Mike and Janice.  The plan was to see how long the kids would last and then Janice might take them out if necessary so we could see Katie get ordained.  The kids ended up staying the whole time, thanks to the iPad and iPhone.  We had to shush Will a bunch but they did well.  We got back to the house around 9pm and we ended up putting the kids down because they were pretty tired.  Katie’s parents had come that afternoon and they had a little party for Katie after the service.  We are excited for Katie and her ordination.  We were excited to see her parents, it had been awhile.  We are so thankful for Katie and her parents for letting us stay with them at their mountain house. 

The kids had a blast at the mountain house and Will was so sad when we got home.  He has become obsessed with UNO.  He is addicted to it.  We played UNO so many times in the mountains that I lost count.  He had a blast playing.  We had to work on him  getting upset when he loses, but he is getting better.  One game we played he was laughing and crying at the same time.  It was so funny!  The other fun thing about the week was seeing Lindy and Claire play together.  I’ve actually been a little worried about Lindy lately because she hardly plays with other kids.  If we are with friends and there are kids around, Lindy usually hangs around the adults.   It had been bothering me some but it warmed my heart this week to see Lindy and Claire play together.  They played doctor, vet, girls soccer team, girls basketball team, and much more together.  Just the two of them playing together.  It was so cute and made me so happy!

I’ll wrap this up and add my pictures.  I was too tired last night when we got home to write a post. 

Swimming on Tuesday.  I introduced her to goggles and she is addicted now.DSC_3848Bathing beauty.DSC_3862DSC_3864Will holding a tiny little praying mantis.  I had to have photographic evidence because Will hates bugs and we couldn’t believe he wanted to hold it.DSC_3871All the littles on the swing singing a song.DSC_3885Pretending to be asleep!DSC_3887The first of many UNO games at the picnic table.DSC_3914Drinking watermelon juice.  I missed all four of them drinking it but caught the girls.DSC_3917Will’s inventive putt putt style.DSC_3930DSC_3931Micah and Will swimming.DSC_3957Lindy and Claire.DSC_3960Lindy crashed Thursday afternoon on the couch.  She hardly ever sits still long enough to fall asleep!  She must have been worn out.DSC_3962DSC_3967One of my new favorite pictures!!!DSC_3984One of the greatest things about Lake Junaluska is the rose walk.  It’s so pretty!  DSC_3996The kids on our walk around the lake.DSC_4001We got to meet Baby Sarah.  She belongs to our friends Richard and Kristen.DSC_4009Lindy wore this light all week long.  She was exploring all week I guess.DSC_4014More putt-putt with Janice.DSC_4017Fun with Mike and Janice!DSC_4026DSC_4029The annual picture at Butts on the Creek.  It’s a BBQ restaurant along a creek.DSC_4036My beauties by the lake.DSC_4044DSC_4062Katie getting ordained Saturday night.DSC_4116Lindy rocking with Katie’s Dad.  Or Papa John as the kids called him.DSC_4127Good buddies, Claire and Lindy.DSC_4130I’m so excited that we get to vacation with our best friends every year.  The kids are making such great memories of such fun times at the mountain house.  DSC_4140Our annual porch swing picture.DSC_4156DSC_4163DSC_4166

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day Dad-da

Lindy affectionately calls Drew Dad-da.  She made it up all by herself and she likes calling him that. 

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in our lives.  To my baby daddy – you are a great father.  Lindy and Will light up when they see you come in a room.  They love grapple time and kissy time with you.  They love you to death and have so much fun with you.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad.  He’s always been so supportive of me.  My dad and I used to have the greatest times growing up.  I was his fishing buddy.  Some of my best memories ever are of us fishing together.  Whether on Lake Champlain in VT or at midnight on the Nishnabotna River in Red Oak, Iowa when I was in high school – we always had a great time.   He is one of the most generous people I know; with his time, talents and money.  he he.  It benefits us greatly!

And Happy Father’s Day to the other dad in my life, that SOB Bob.  That stands for Sweet Old Bob, of course!!  They say he was a tough dad but he has mellowed into an old softie in his ripe old age.  He loves us and our kids so much.  He gets suckered in for a few household projects too (like tent weights for the March of Dimes! ha ha!) which we appreciate him helping us with. 

We are lucky to have such good dads in our lives. 

Looking back at our week, we didn’t really do too much.  It was kind of a boring week.  Tuesday we had our last regular gymnastics class.  The kids have loved gymnastics this year.  They definitely learned new skills and it was a great little workout for them each week.  We had two very patient teachers, Mr. Jeff and Mr. Jason.  I appreciate them working with Lindy each week.  They were really awesome and patient in helping her with things she couldn’t do. 

Thursday morning I took the kids for their first swimming lesson.  We have a family in our church who has their own pool in their yard.  Their daughter, LeeAnn – also a church member- used to teach swimming lessons at the YMCA.  I asked her to teach the kids this summer.   We tried lessons last year at the YMCA but I’m pretty sure Lindy heard nothing.  It was loud and had an echo in there.  We met LeeAnn at her parents’ pool and we worked with them for 45 minutes.  We were both in the water.  She’d tell us what to do and I’d be able to say it directly into Lindy’s ear so she could hear.  It was a much better situation.  We are going to do them throughout the summer and hopefully the kids will get a little more used to and comfortable around water.  They like the water a lot but they need to learn how to not drink the entire pool and choke.  Thursday afternoon we had some other church members come over for a Hunger Games book study.  Three were rising 9th graders who had read the book in school.  It was a fun afternoon of discussing the books.

Friday evening we picked up some dinner and headed to a park for a picnic.  We enjoyed our evening out.  The kids had a blast at the playground.  It was the perfect time to go, hardly anyone was there.  I am such a scaredy cat when it comes to Lindy and playgrounds.  I can hardly stand to watch her play on it.  My heart drops constantly the whole time we are there.  If she falters or missteps my heart drops.  I am just so scared of her hitting her head on a metal bar and it hurting her shunt.  Thankfully she has a much more laid back daddy who helps her but lets her do things mommy wouldn’t let her do. 

Saturday morning we had Gold Medal Day at gymnastics.  The kids had to be there at 10:40am and then performed at 11am.  They did about a 20 minute presentation and then we were done.  We went out to lunch with Kris, Katie, Micah, and Claire to celebrate.  Lynn came up for the day and came to watch the gymnasts in action.  We played at Chick-fil-A and then Lynn and I took the kids shopping for a bit.  We stopped for some frozen yogurt on the way home.  Lynn babysat for us Sat. night so Drew and I could go to a Willie Nelson concert.   Willie came to this little campground in Pinnacle NC.  It has an outdoor amphitheater and it is at the base of Pilot Mountain.  We met our friends Melissa and Mike for supper and then we headed to the concert.  It was a beautiful night and venue for my first Willie Nelson concert.  It was a lot of fun – even if Willie only played for 1.5 hours.  It was still pretty awesome. 

Today was been a pretty low-key Father’s Day for Drew.  We had church this morning and the children’s choir did sing for the dads.  Lindy put on quite the show.  They called up the kids during the gathering songs to help sing old vacation bible school music.  Lindy stationed herself in front of a microphone and messed with with the entire time.  Then the children’s choir sang their songs and again she got herself right in front of the microphone.  She had her hands on her hips and she sang away.  It was quite entertaining.  Besides messing with the mic a lot, it actually turned out okay because she was singing and you could hear her.  She knew the words and sang them well.  After church we did go out to eat for lunch and then Drew spent the afternoon at the hospital with a church family.  We got a pizza for dinner.  His Father’s Day involved mostly eating.  I hope he does know how much the kids and I love him, even if we weren’t with him most of the day!

So there is our week.  Until next time…

One day we ran errands and we went to the grocery store.  They thought this double race car cart was awesome. IMG_0977The kids with their gymnastics teachers, Mr. Jeff and Mr. Jason.DSC_3661Lindy brought her purse and baby to the store one day.  DSC_3663At the playground Friday night.DSC_3685DSC_3692DSC_3697This little ramp in particular scared me to death.  It was the only way she wanted to get up in there.  Be still my beating heart.  I just knew she’d miss a rung and bang her head on the metal bars.  Thankfully, she didn’t.DSC_3698DSC_3699Gold Medal Day.  Walking out to start the performance.DSC_3711DSC_3715DSC_3719Starting across the balance beam.DSC_3734Stopping for a little hug first.DSC_3735DSC_3739Doing a handstand.  Hey, there is Claire!DSC_3749DSC_3759Ta-da!DSC_3783Ta-da!DSC_3786DSC_3791DSC_3792This picture cracks me up.  Every kid in the picture is screaming Ta-da at the top of their lungs.  Their faces are so funny!DSC_3798Our super star gold medalists!DSC_3799Lindy and Mimo!DSC_3802The best Willie pictures I got on my phone.IMG_1012IMG_1013Father’s Day church outfits.DSC_3814DSC_3815DSC_3818Singing during the gathering music.DSC_3822DSC_3823The children’s choir singing their Father’s Day songs.  Look at Miss Sassypants on the right.   Stationed before the mic with her hands on her hips.DSC_3830Check out that rock star!DSC_3827Giving Daddy some presents they made in Sunday School.DSC_3832Best Daddy Ever!DSC_3836DSC_3834DSC_3839

I also want to congratulate one of my best friends on the arrival of her baby girl today.  Congratulations Chris and Callie!  Welcome to the world Baby Stella!