Sunday, October 31, 2010

First things first.

Wednesday afternoon, David and Story picked up the rest of us from Heiskell and we hit the ground running. We stopped just outside of Mobile for a quick supper and continued on our way. About 9:00, we finally drove over Lake Pontchartrain into the Big Easy. The seminary has a hotel across the street, The Providence House, and that became our home for the next several days. Thursday was David's big day, so we didn't plan too much. After a quick pancake breakfast, we drove over to the French Quarter. Along the banks of the mighty Mississippi, there are some great grassy areas for the children to run and play. It was very windy close to the water, so we decided to head back to the seminary and burn off some more energy on the family playgrounds. For lunch, we ate on campus and were able to visit with some sweet friends. We met up with Liz, who was our neighbor and part of our Edgewater church family when we lived in NOLA. We also met up with Jeremy, who went to college with me and knows David through FUGE training weekend, and we saw Ryan, who is now Jeremy's roommate, and who worked camp with us in Nashville in 2003. After lunch and fellowship with sweet friends, the children and I headed back over to take naps at the hotel, and it would soon be game time for David. Driving into the quarter, passing Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral.
Our three along the mighty Mississippi.
I love this picture David took of Summer looking out over the water.
This adorable girl, Crystal, stopped in the middle of her run in the quarter and offered to take our picture. We decided it is best for us if a complete stranger takes our pictures because the children all looked at her! What a great picture and what a sweet gesture from a stranger.
Mommy and Story.
Carer, Summer, and Tilly running across the park.
At the seminary playground, where the wind was not so fierce.
Having fun on the seminary playground.
I love this picture of Tilly sitting with her daddy as he is studying one last time for his exit interview.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ah, Nola, how we will miss thee.

We made it home safely tonight from New Orleans. What an amazing time we had in the Big Easy. For me, this was my first time to return since we moved, which was before Hurricane Katrina. Nothing could have prepared my heart for the sights. I think the hardest part was that so many things were missing, our favorite Popeye's around the corner from our apartment, where we lived on their special: 2 can dine for $5.99. Also gone were favorite restaurants, a grocery store, a school where I taught, so many homes, and tons of trees. All of which hold special memories for David and me of our time there. However, so much of New Orleans is still the same, and that makes my heart happy. Tonight, at supper we were reflecting on our time there. We asked the children what was their favorite part. Carter said, "The place where we got the doughnuts. And the city, Mommy, I love the city like you." Summer said, "The place where we slept." What is it with children and hotels? Tilly said, "The Bible." Ah, good ole pk! So, over the next few days, I will reflect on our time there, on a city we love so much.

Friday, October 29, 2010

And they all stood up!

It's no secret that our party of six has been in New Orleans for the last couple of days. Wednesday after school, we loaded up and headed to the big easy. The main purpose for our trip was for David to defend his final paper for his doctoral project. A long standing tradition at the seminary is when one completes their exit interview, they leave the room in order for the professors to dialog and make a decision, pass or fail. If the student passes the exam, then the professors stand up when the student reenters the room. I am proud, so very proud to say,
David passed his defense, and he will graduate in December. We are so proud of him and so thankful. How exciting that our party of six has yet another trip scheduled to visit this city we love so much. How even more exciting that the hard, nerve-wracking portion of our trip is over. So, now. . .
we can just enjoy our time in the Crescent City or the Who Dat nation as we lovingly call it. Trust me there are more fun posts to come from our time in the Big Easy. Tonight, we all went to David's favorite restaurant, New Orleans Food & Spirits, to celebrate his big day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Look who's. . .

Joining us for supper on a regular basis these days. Story has pretty much given up her late afternoon nap, and she really enjoys being at the supper table with our rowdy crew. I love to watch her watch her brother and sisters. She is so entertained by them and clearly adores them. As Carter would say, "Now, we are all together in a family!"

Look who's also in her crib in her room that she shares with Tilly. . .finally!
And lovin' every minute of it.
Thank you, Daddy, for putting our new crib together.
As you can see from the BIG smile on her face, she loves her new bed. Mommy and Daddy are pretty thankful to have her out of our room too. I think we slept better last night than we have in months, ha! She's quite the wiggle worm in her bed, and we would hear every sound she made during the night. Thankfully, her new roommate didn't seem to be bothered by a new little person sharing her room.
And. . .look who ate these for the very first time this week.
They were a big hit with the children, Daddy, not so much!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

S'more, please.

We had such a fun weekend. Saturday morning, we took the children to the pumpkin patch. That afternoon, we watched college football all. day. long. This is our favorite time of the year! After naps and play time, we grilled hot dogs with all the trimmings, followed up with yummy s'mores cooked on the open fire outside. What a delicious mess!

We are lovin' this fall weather and thankful for this season of life with our little family.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Don't you love it when. . .

You find things that remind you of a sweet season in your life?
David called me on his way home from work the other day and said, "I have a surprise for you!" I love surprises, so I couldn't wait until he got home. He handed me what looked like a CD and told me that I would have to upload it to find out what it was. My mind was racing. I thought it might be a photography program for the computer, a CD with all of "our" songs, or a new exercise DVD, but it was far far better than any of these! On the CD were pictures, LOTS of pictures from our very first summer to work FUGE as a married couple. We met at MFUGE during the summer of 2000, when I was on staff, and David brought his youth group from Arkansas, to Charleston for the week, so it was incredibly special to serve on a team together several years later. That summer was pivotal in our lives for so many reasons. We had just left Marmaduke, Arkansas, where David had been the youth pastor for 3 years. We had only been married for two years, so we were still somewhat newlyweds. We were searching for something, and at the time did not know what. God revealed Himself to us in mighty ways that summer. He does that from time to time, doesn't He? It was in the middle of this summer that God called us to move to New Orleans, Louisiana, for David to attend seminary. WHAT? That's exactly what our response was at the time, but He spoke to us so clearly, so lovingly, and so gently, like a Daddy with a newborn baby, that we had no choice but to obey. We all know how miserable life can be when we disobey God anyway! So, you can imagine what a flood of memories exploded in my heart and mind as I poured over the pictures David brought home to me. So many of the people in these pictures are still very dear to me, and I think of them often. Some of them we spent lots of time with once we moved to New Orleans and even lived with for a time. Another one we named our third child for because she prayed with me through this season of faith jumping. Others we hear about on facebook or their blogs or even meet up with as time allows. All of them hold a special place in our hearts because they were all a part of such a pivotal, life-changing season in our lives, and we love them dearly for it. All of them prayed with us through our decision to hang it all in the wind and move to New Orleans. So, this post is for me. I am taking a trip down memory lane. Remembering that special summer of 2003, spent in Nashville, Tennessee. Remembering super fun times with friends who were just like family. Remembering a time in my life where God spoke to me so very clearly and revealed Himself to me in such a powerful way. We need to remember those times when the enemy seeks to steal and plant seeds of doubt. I am forever grateful for that summer, for the people God placed in our lives forever, for Him calling us to take a leap of faith like never before, and for how that summer forever changed our lives, our marriage, me. These were my games and rec boys for the summer! What fun times we had!
We spent lots of time eating yummy food in Nashville.
This was an adorable restaurant in downtown Franklin. How young do we look?
Love these friends!
Photo shoot in downtown Nashville.
Love this picture. How H.O.T. is my husband?
We spent lots of time at this place right across the street from Belmont.
We spent even more time at this place. It is by far one of my most favorite places to eat to this day, not so much for the food, but for the fun memories with amazing people.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin patch.

Saturday morning, we made the executive decision to skip soccer, gasp! Last year, we missed out taking the children to a pumpkin patch, and we did not want to miss out this year too. This was the only weekend we could go, so we went. It was so much fun to walk through the rows of pumpkins. There were also some beautiful sunflowers. Truthfully, the main reason I wanted to go to the patch was to capture some sweet pictures of the children. They are not really at the age where they enjoy having their picture made though, and it is next to impossible for us to get all four of them looking at the camera and smiling. What am I thinking? That's a lot of ask! Summer with the pretty sunflowers. She is so prissy!
Carter, Summer, and Tilly. I love the look on Tilly's face, like she's trying really hard not to smile!
Summer was singing ring around the rosy.
A flock of geese took off from the field where we were standing, so I tried to catch them on film.
Carter and Summer posing amongst the pumpkins.
What a handsome fella!
Our FOUR sweeties!
Take two, or fifteen!
Me with all of my sweet peas!
After the pumpkin patch, we ate lunch at Willie's, one of our favorites. The weather was nice enough that we could sit outside, and this sweet man stopped by our table as he was leaving to compliment our children. David and I left the restaurant with our chests puffed up just a wee bit! Made my mommy heart swell with pride because I certainly think they are pretty awesome kiddos, but it sure is nice when someone else notices too.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy birthday, Mama!

Today is my sweet grandmother's birthday. Sadly, we won't be able to help her celebrate today, but hopefully, we will see her soon.
Happy birthday, Mama!
We hope your day is extra special and that you are able to feel how very much you are loved.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hickory dickory dock.

Today was nursery rhyme dress-up day for Carter and Summer. Honestly, I stress over this day every year. I thought I was going to get out of it this year because I thought we were going to be out of town, but I got my weeks mixed up. Of course, ha! So, scrounge for Mother Goose rhymes, we did. And, I think we did pretty well considering I'm not the most creative mommy on the block. Just sayin'.
The Hunter of Reigate
A man went a-hunting at Reigate,
And wished to leap over a high gate.
Says the owner, "Go round,
With your gun and your hound,
For you never shall leap over my gate."
Christmas comes but once a year,
And when it comes it brings good cheer.
Tilly did not have to dress up this year, but don't worry we will experience the madness with her soon enough. Anyway, she wanted her picture made too. How can a momma resist this face?
Carter and Summer all nursery rhymed up!
They don't like to look at the camera, but it's okay because their faces are so stinkin' cute!
Summer's teacher, aka Jill, who tumbled down the hill after Jack!
Carter had so much fun parading around the school in his costume.
I added this sweet face for good measure just because I looove her sweet smile!