Intentional Evenings

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For most of the fall our schedule looked a little like this…

Monday was co-op, preschool, ballet and jazz…

Tuesday brought the library, two soccer practices, and karate…

On Wednesday we had preschool, art class, hip hop, awana and Bible study….

And Thursdays were Families of Hope and karate days…

Whew, it still makes me tired thinking about it!

So in the midst of all those activities, we decided to be intentional about not making any plans on Friday or Sunday evenings. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always so very worth it. It meant sometimes saying no to something that might have been fun, but knowing that being at home would be even better. And we all really enjoyed those evenings at home, and I began really looking forward to them!

Many times on Friday nights we would make homemade pizza or calzones for dinner, have a family movie night, or play games. It also gave us a chance to settle down earlier before soccer on Saturday mornings.

On Sundays we have church, grab lunch out, pick up our groceries and run any errands early in the day, so that we can be home for the evening. We’ve spent lots of time outside, cleaning our rooms, having leftovers for dinner, reading books, snuggling and cuddling, and preparing for the week ahead.

The days are full, but they are fleeting, and I am so very grateful these intentional evening where we could rest, recharge and enjoy time together as a family!

“A more intentional life purposely slows down enough to enjoy the very process of living more intentionally.” –Tsh Oxenreider

“If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule so God has room to overwhelm my soul.” –Lysa Terkeurst 

Highlights and Hard Moments

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December is here, and we couldn’t be more excited!  But first here’s a look back at some more sweet memories from the fall that I don’t want to forget! 

And while these definitely are more of a highlight reel, in the midst of these sweet moments there are long days, hard decisions, times of discipline, tears, questions, and frustrations.

But all of these moments and days, both good and hard, are so very worth it! This life is far more than I could have ever asked for or imagined, and I don’t ever want to take it for granted. Oh, Jesus, thank you for the sweet highlights and all the hard moments in between. Your grace is enough, and we are so very grateful!

Broadwell Academy, Weeks 11 and 12

week 11: a great day at co-op playing games in pe, learning about water in curious kids science, and a visit from a banker in “when i grow up.” halloween activities all week long. doing art while laying on our backs like michelangelo. library and language arts. a good week of math practice. getting our school work done at chickfila. a picnic with friends at the park, and sometimes school involves cleaning the bathrooms. a pajama day filled with making muffins, playing headbands, reading james and the giant peach, and getting all of our school assignments done. ending the week erupting our volcano outside and finishing up our south america unit with argentina, a place near and dear to this mommy’s heart.

week 12: dress up day at co-op and a very special american girl tea party. welcoming november with a morning at the park and an afternoon of school. we created our own mona lisa pictures with new settings in art which the kids thought was so much fun. and for math we sorted, counted, and graphed our halloween candy. reece had an awesome week of reading, and sarah ann couldn’t wait to dive into some of the new books she got for her birthday. she’s our little reading machine. we spent thursday and friday learning about voting and the election process. we also voted early and had our own little pepsi and coke election at home. and of course coke totally won! we also spent friday at the state museum with some of our friends to check out the wizard of oz exhibit and 4d movie. it was a great way to end another week down!

thankful hearts. thankful days.

adding to our thankful trees each night at dinner. shopping, putting together, decorating, and packing our operation christmas child boxes. making blessing bags with lots of yummy food to be delivered to a local apartment complex. a fun little turkey craft before bed. making and eating thanksgiving sugar cookies with daddy. sweet cornucopia treat bags to share with some of our friends. a super fun first thanksgiving feast for our little pilgrim at preschool. cuddling up to watch charlie brown’s thanksgiving–one of the kids’ favorite things to do each year. a friendsgiving lunch and playdate at chickfila full of giggles and good conversation. making pilgrim and indian puppets and reading some of our favorite thanksgiving books. cinnamon rolls, breakfast in the living room, pajamas, and the macy’s thanksgiving day parade. spending the day at nanny and pops’ house on thanksgiving–delicious food, lots of play time, beautiful weather, playing kickball, napping, and enjoying time with sweet family!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Today and every day we have so very much to be thankful for!

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Psalm 107:8-9

Before the Throne

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Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

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My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

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When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.

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Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me.

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Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!
Behold Him there, the Risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

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One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God.

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a storybook ball and boys night

tonight sarah ann and i went to the storybook ball at adventure with our dear friends, maria and sarah. the girls got to meet so many great characters, like dorothy, anna and elsa, the cat in the hat, thing 1 and thing 2, alice in wonderland and her whole crew, and of course, lots and lots of princesses! we enjoyed a short play by the columbia children’s theatre during dinner, rode the carousel, played in the diner area, and danced down the red carpet! it was such a fun girls night out, and i’m always thankful for time with my pretty princess!

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And while the girls were out on the town, the boys were having their own fun too! it’s not surprise that reece and carson chose moe’s for dinner, and then they told jeffrey that they just wanted to play at home. they sure do love playing with their daddy and just being at home together!

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Happy Birthday to Us!

Friday evening Jeffrey and I drove up to the city where it all began! We spent the evening in Greenville having dinner at P.F. Chang’s, taking a trip to Barnes and Noble, and then heading downtown to see Mat Kearny and NeedtoBreathe in concert! We were originally suppose to see this concert in August in Charleston for Jeffrey’s birthday, but it was cancelled due to weather. We are so glad that we had another opportunity to see them and celebrate a way belated birthday for Jeffrey and celebrate me too! Ha! The concert was awesome, but spending the evening together back in Greenville was even better!

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Knowing that it was going to be a late night, Nanny and Pops so graciously agreed to keep the kiddos all day on Saturday until after mine and Jeffrey’s birthday dinner date. We slept in, watched football, cleaned up the house, and rested, and it was oh so wonderful! Then we headed to the Melting Pot for my favorite birthday tradition! We have been going to the Melting Pot for my birthday every year for my birthday since we moved to Lexington in 2007, and it just keeps getting better and better!

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I am so very grateful for such a wonderful weekend with Jeffrey, but life sure is sweeter when we are all back together again! The four sure do know how to spoil me and love me, and I’m so very thankful that they are all mine!

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a howlin’ good time!

six mommies, twelve kids

waterslides, jet skis, lily pads, bathing suits and beach towels

lots of pizza, drinks, donuts, snacks and a trip to cookout

pajamas, sweet treats, and a show and story time before bed

 facepainting, coloring, and playing in the cub club

a whole lotta laughing, smiling, and fun!

…and we only lost 1 kid, for just a couple of minutes!

we sure did have a howling’ good time at the great wolf lodge with our friends! what a fun treat during this crazy, beautiful season!