Monday, April 25, 2011

Come See Me Festival

The first week in April we enjoyed our first Come See Me Festival here in Rock Hill. It is an annual festival in the Spring and I must say, I absolutely loved all of it! I am a small town girl at heart. I love the feeling of community and the small town events in a small town. I am most definitely not a country girl- I need my modern conveniences! Don't make me live far from my Chick-fil-a, stores, restaurants and parks! But I am not a city girl. I grew up in Warrenton, VA when it was a small town (it has grown up quite a bit since then). I remember Main Street closing every Saturday in December for Christmas festivities. I remember the Spring Festival every year. I loved those things and now I am so grateful to live in a town that feels very much the same (and yet is so close to my conveniences!!).

We began the Come See Me Festival with "Chalk on Main." They closed down Main Street and gave out sidewalk chalk for the kids to draw. It was a lot of fun! Then on Saturday the boys enjoyed the Mayor's Frog Jumping competition. They each got to choose a frog and race them- they were very brave each holding their frogs! EWWW!! It was very cute, however. They got to name their frogs. Caleb named his Froggy and Noah named his Frog- so creative, I know! Then we enjoyed some carnival-type rides. On Sunday we had Sundaes in the Park- ice cream sundaes, face painting, tomato planting, characters. We met our friends, the Chambers, there and had a great time. Then each evening of the week there were free concerts in the park. We went on Monday with the Chambers after our Family Night dinner at Chick-fil-a. And we went again on Wednesday and packed a picnic dinner. On Tuesday morning we went to the Library for craft time and the boys made some really cute crafts. Then on the next weekend, we closed Come See Me with a cook-out at our house with the Chambers. We went to a free children's carnival and then cooked out burgers and hot dogs. At 9:00 they shot off fireworks over Winthrop Lake which is literally right behind our neighborhood. We were able to see them from our front yard and avoid all the crowds and traffic! It was a really fun week. Here are some pictures of our adventures!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reflecting on His Sacrifice

We've spent this dreary Good Friday reflecting on our sin and His sacrifice. We've done our Lenten Lights and painted our rocks black. And we've read our Jesus Storybook Bible. If you are a parent to young children, you need this Bible. It is amazing. The subtitle is "Every story whispers His name." We absolutely love it! Every story points to Jesus. Every story reminds us of our need for a rescuer and of God's great plan to send that rescuer. We really, really love it.

And now they have produced a series of videos based on their accounts of the Holy Week. It is simply images from the Jesus Storybook Bible and a narrative of the text. They are beautiful. The boys loved watching them today. Can't wait to watch the Resurrection story on Sunday! I am posting them here for you to see (for the next week or so, then they will no longer be available). Share them with your kids. Reflect on His sacrifice, His love, His grace.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Traditions

It's the week of Easter. I love Easter. And I love the traditions we have started as a family for the week of Easter. It helps us all, me included, to stay focused on truth, on grace, on our sin, on the cross. My mind is full right now as I contemplate all that Easter is and means. Too much to blog about right now.

But what I do want to do is remind you of some of our traditions, just in case you might want to join us this year.

Tonight we started our Lenten Lights devotion. We will do one devotion each night through Easter.

This week we will make Resurrection Eggs and retell the story over and over of Christ's death and triumph over death for our sake!

We will make Resurrection rolls and celebrate that He is alive!

And we will fill our Easter baskets with black rocks, to symbolize our sin, only to find on Easter morning that Jesus has taken away our sin and filled our baskets with blessing!

For more details and links about Lenten Lights, Resurrection eggs and Resurrection rolls check out last year's post here. For more details about Baskets Full of Blessings you can go here. And as always I will post with pictures after we finish our Easter week.

Weekend Fun

So, this weekend we wanted to plant our garden and build a swingset for the boys. But they were calling for heavy rain and possible severe weather for Saturday. What were we to do? Squeeze it all into Friday of course! Jack took a long lunch and we went to buy our vegetables for our garden. This year we decided to plant squash, zucchini, corn, green beans, purple hull peas, romaine lettuce and strawberries. The boys each got a tomato plant last weekend at the Come See Me festival, so we planted those too! While we were out we also bought the supplies to build the boys a swingset. They have been dying to swing. They found the baby swings in the storage closet and took them in the backyard and tried their hardest to get them hooked up to a tree so they could swing! So after lunch and shopping, Jack went back to work and the boys and I planted our garden. We had a lot of fun! The neighbor behind us warned us of rabbits, so we made sure to put a fence up around our garden. Then when Daddy got home he got started on the swingset. It looks great! I am always so proud of how handy my man is! The boys got to swing for a good 30 minutes last night while Jack and I finished the garden fence. Then we all realized it was 8:00 and we hadn't had dinner! So, while the very healthy pizza bagels were in the oven, I very quickly bathed all three boys and they had dinner at about 8:15 last night! But it was all worth it! Here are the pics of the garden and swingset. I need to get some of the boys on the swingset, but we'll have to wait for daylight!

This is the garden today after our pounding rains this morning. A little smooshed, but the water was good for it!

There is room to put up our other baby swing for Eden!

And of course, we got those pounding rains this morning. Soccer was cancelled and we were rained in. So, Jack went to Redbox and got us a movie to watch. We popped popcorn and enjoyed Megamind. By the time the movie finished, so had the rain! The boys were DYING to go outside, so I let them wear their rain boots and splash to their hearts content in the puddles. Our driveway puddles up a lot where we park our cars. I got some great video, but Jack will have to edit it to make the file smaller for the blog. But I also took some great photos. We even let Josiah wear his crocs and get in on the fun! 

And tomorrow marks the end of the Come See Me Festival. It was supposed to be today, but they postponed it due to the rain. So, be on the lookout next week for a post with lots of pictures of our week of Festival fun!

Monday, April 11, 2011

How do I count the Ways

Again, I work on counting the ways He blesses, the ways He loves, the ways He is here. And today, I was challenged to make sure this becomes a part of the way we are raising our children- a part of their education- a part of their growing. And once again challenged that there is no greater pursuit than knowing God and that counting the ways we see Him, feel Him and taking time to thank Him, praise Him, glorify Him is part of that pursuit.
Because what will the math really matter if they are bitter? If the house is immaculate — but my attitude a mess? If they can count — but they don’t know how to count all things as joy? If we get the lists done, but have lost happiness in Him? How can any grammar skill outweigh the fact they don’t know the language of grace and thanks? What good will it be if they can recite all the major British battles — but they don’t know to see beauty? What am I teaching our children if I’m not living simply, quietly this: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8). Focusing on what is beautiful, good, true –isn’t this the truest education? ~Ann Voskamp
What a weekend we had, and what joy we saw, and what blessings we received. May God be glorified in our joy. For it is to Him I give thanks today for these gifts, for His presence, for His grace.

235. open windows
236. dirty hands, dirty feet, dirty boys
237. my clumsy little man

 238. sweet love and hugs

239. watching him learn new skills

240. first sport pictures
241. hats on sweet heads

242. Come See Me festival fun

243. ice cream covered faces

244. sweet friends

245. fresh fruit
246. a garden plowed and ready to plant
247. azaleas blooming
248. underwear clad boys running free
249. shorts, sandals and flip-flops
250. family night at Chick-fil-a