Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stone Mountain ... in NC!

The morning started out like this... We slowly one by one rolled out of bed and came into the living room. We drank our coffee and milk, talked a bit and just hung out in the living room. Finally one of us said, "what are we doing today?" Hmmmm... A quick Google and Mapquest and the frenzy began. Lunches being packed, chores completed and then we were off. To the mountains!

Stone Mountain is somewhere we haven't explored yet. Let us say, we need to go back there again! After our drive we needed to eat so we hurried up and had our picnic right out on the grass.

We love having Jon at home with us. He brightens our day and makes life so much easier! Plus, he always has us laughing.

We headed out on a trail that the guide told us to take. It was supposed to be 3 miles and go around the mountain and we would be able to see a waterfall or two. We knew we would be racing the weather so we wanted to keep up a decent pace. Of course the pace was thwarted by a few posed pictures...

Jake started slacking a bit so Kylie swooped him up and attempted to carry his 30lb body. Needless to say, she didn't carry him far!

So he ended up on Jon's shoulders!

As the hike continued, the kids found walking sticks so of course Jake had to find one of his own. 

Sharing a heart to heart...

After walking, and walking we came up on this. None of us expected to come up on this view.

Wish I had another lens other than my zoom because the panoramic view of the summit was awe inspiring! The forest seemed to go on forever!

The rocks were amazing as well. 

Through the woods we came up on this fireplace. I couldn't imagine living in this beauty and seclusion. Ahhh...

The rain started falling and there was a bit or two of thunder and we started wondering if we were lost. There was such a great expanse of rock on the summit it was easy to get lost. So it was fun to find the red blazes spraypainted on the rock so the kids had fun finding them on the rocks. 

We finally found our way back and came upon this sign. Love it when we find the danger signs after we have made it back!

Next time we will have to spend some extra time at the homestead. The rain started pouring and we all wanted to get warm. 

Jake and his tractor.

Jon being the hero by running down and getting the van - letting us all stay nice and dry at the homestead.

Jake of course wasn't bothered by the rain and he spotted a caterpillar. This boy LOVES caterpillars! He quietly allows them to crawl up his hand and then he explains "tickle! tickle!!"

Stone Mountain is such a fun place so I hope we can come back soon. Looks like it would be a great camping spot. 

But back on the homefront, I had to share these pictures. Our front porch usually has kids on it during any given day. Lately, there has been a bit of a Nintendo DS craze were the kids verse each other. So this captures a bit of their enthusiasm as they were playing against each other. 

taken before poor Hayley broke her arm... sniff sniff...
They got a star!!!

Oh no she didn't!

Yay! We got a star!!!

Cracked all of the adults up because seriously, if you were in a mile radius of our house, you would hear the cheers and screaming of their play. Love our neighbors!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just Do It!

Social media has sure upped the anti for women lately hasn't it? Pinterest, facebook, blogs, you name it. Women creating, being, doing, thinking such wonderful things. For some it is inspiring, for others it makes them crawl deeper in the black whole of their life. They just. can't. do. it. all.

I consider myself to have a pretty thick skin so I take what I want and dump the rest. If I feel like I am looking at too many things and not doing life with my family I take a step back and engage more. But isn't it a constant struggle? I mean, who doesn't want to know what Suzy Q neighbor is doing with her family. Is it what *I* should be doing with my family? Seems to be working for her right? Oh, but Gertrude is doing working out and she looks great  and she seems to be happy.... Sigh... And Anna is involved in every activity - how come I don't have that energy? So we go off looking at what might make our lives a little bit easier and a little bit better. I am right there with you. 

For years I have admired the Nike catch phrase Just Do It. Isn't that true? At least in my life if I stop looking for the next thing and just do LIFE, the rest will come!!! Through it all though, I think my heart hurts for all of those thoughts that are going through woman's heads, myself included...

So I took a shower. Isn't that where all great revelations come? Peace, quiet... Oh and I really wish they would make a waterproof Bible that you could have your quiet time in there but ok, I digress... Anyway, it isn't monumental but it is since there is such a push for woman to be the do all be all. News flash, we aren't.

To everything there is a season; A time for every purpose under heaven.
                                              Ecclesiastes 3:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

Seasons in our own life, just like in nature tend to focus on just one aspect. God ordained those seasons so why can't you have them in your own life! Life would be chaotic if there was no order in nature and the seasons were all mixed up randomly. Just like nature can't do it's tasks all the time, we can't either. So we bend and consent to the here and now. 

My here and now...

For me, it means having enough energy to pour into the relationships that are right here in my home. To be a safe place for my family to fall, being a warm wife to my husband while supporting him as he works hard to provide for our family. It means not spreading myself so thin I have nothing to give to the ones God has entrusted to me. My gifts. 

Then we have to trust... God provides for all of his children and if that isn't perfect organic meals then so be it. We are being good stewards to what He has given us. Does that mean that I have all of the trendy craft materials? Nope, but rocks and sticks work wonders too. Once I start complaining about what I don't have means that I am not content in what God has given me. Yep, not cool. 

We are all just parts of the Body of Christ which in total does wonderful things. Don't be mislead by what others are doing because it might not be what *you* should be doing. Just Do It  and stop being distracted by everything else!!!  There will be time for all the other things in your next season...

Whew... Carry on now... ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Out and About...

Playing catch-up over in these parts. I have tons of photos to go through but these were from a fun jaunt to the Bicentennial Gardens here in Greensboro. Jon was able to join us during the last hour or so we were there! Double bonus!

We are loving the cooler temps in the morning then the sunny afternoons that call for quick squirt gun parties and sidewalk chalk. This afternoon called for a quick hike to see flowers in bloom and what better place to do it than the gardens. 

The kids enjoyed getting out and running free. Of course, entertained by the antics of Jake. He is such a blessing to all of us and he provides us with so many extra laughs each day. 

In Jake's two short years, this thing I know. He is the happiest when he is outside. Exploring and getting dirty are his favorites. He keeps up with Kylie and Luke no problem and loves trying new things, much to the chagrin of his mother.

And like Kylie and Luke, shoes are always optional.

So many times people think that siblings will take away from the experiences of the other older children. I hope I can convey this with respect, but Jake has developed so many extra talents and character traits in both Luke and Kylie. It warms my heart to see the care and concern they *all* have for eachother. Yes, sometimes there are tifts, as always but overall a deep sense that it is not all about them. I am so thankful that they can grow in love for each other.

Well hello there sweet little flower!

Tromping in moss is not just for the barefooted toddler...

But my sweet girl can get dirty just like the rest of them...

And I have to stop this sweet garden moment for a quick little story. You know the care and concern about siblings? Well, see, I have a zoom lens so things in this picture are a lot closer than they actually were in reality. I was far away on a bridge with Luke when Kylie screamed (causing all sorts of bird craziness - we were in nature ya know.) I flew around and low and behold caught this quick stinker airborne over a puddle. Yep, too late. Splash.

 Laughs, more screams, some more laughs which were quickly stifled and then the stroller jail it was. 

Now after Jake was safely contained she was able to spend some time for herself. She loved this tree and little creek beside it.

Remember that story of the freaky goose here? Well we made a return visit. Kids a year older and wiser, less apt to act the fool right? Sure... 

I swear Jake is Dr. Doolittle. I have documented in pictures practically every animal he has ever met and he loves them all. Including the goose that wants to bite his finger off.

Thankfully Jake must have learned his lesson last year since he gently tossed the bread some people gave him. And he didn't try to jump down this time either. Whew!

Jon was able to join us as well. Any time with their Daddy is a good time!

We had a great time getting out, just in time too as a spring storm ran through the neighborhood. These clouds were so interesting to watch. Tornado warning to boot. Thankfully all was well and no tornado's to be seen. Glad we were able to get out some and enjoy the beautiful weather!