Opportunities to Serve

Jeffrey and I have had opportunities to travel to many different countries on mission trips, and I long for the day when we get to do that again. But something that I am continually learning is that God calls us to be faithful in both the big and little, and He is always giving us opportunities to serve! A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to love on and spend the day with Averie and Finn while their mommy was on an international mission trip. It was such a fun day for us all, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve them!


My mind is still trying to process all of flooding going on in our state, and there will be more on that in the coming days, but during these first days of recovery I knew that I wanted the kids and I to be able to help in a tangible way that they could relate to. So yesterday we made a big pot of chicken chili, baked some cookies, and made cards to take to our local fire department this afternoon. They were so very gracious and even took the kids all around the fire station and let them climb in the truck. They said they were awake for 50 hours over Sunday and Monday and spent most of their time doing rescues as the flood waters rose. We are so thankful for all that all of the first responders have done and are doing to protect the midlands.


God puts all kinds of desires in our hearts, and His timing is always perfect in how all of those desires come to fruition. But each and every day, we are called to be faithful to serve, to love, to help others in both the big and little ways. God is always at work doing big things, and we are so thankful that He allows us to be a part of it!

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Luke 16:10

America’s Oldest City, Part 4

Friday morning we woke up a bit earlier to pack up, clean up, and begin our final day in St. Augustine! It was an absolutely beautiful day–the sun was shining, and the kids were so excited to feed the hungry ducks and turtles our leftover bread before we left!

We said goodbye to our condo, and then headed downtown! Our first stop was the Castillo de San Marcos. It is a beautiful fort right on the bay, and the kids really enjoyed walking through the different rooms, seeing some secret areas, and looking out from the top. We also got to meet a few soldiers and hear the cannons!

After the castillo, we headed across the street into the historic downtown area to cool off and have lunch. We had a yummy lunch at the Florida Cracker Cafe and then stopped in the candy store on our way out for some treats for the ride home!

There are so many old, historic buildings downtown that have been really well maintained. Many of them are restaurants and stores now, but they have kept all of the history too. It was so neat to walk on the cobblestone paths and walk through the colonial area of the city. We walked through the city gates and also visited the “oldest wooden schoolhouse in America.” Ha! The kids weren’t too fond of the idea of having a dunce cap or a “dungeon” for where students misbehaved, but it was very interesting to visit the school room, house, kitchen and gardens. Plus, ringing the school bell was pretty fun too!

Our last stop was the Pirate and Treasure Museum, which I think Jeffrey and Reece liked the best! There were so many awesome artifacts and lots of history about some of the world’s most famous pirates. Reece couldn’t believe that Black Beard actually came to South Carolina! The kids also had to look for secret knobs all throughout the museum and write down what they found and then they got to pick out some treasure as a prize!

The kids were so sad to leave and have already been asking when we can go back! There is still so much to see and do! It was such a fun family week, and we are always to very thankful to spend time together experiencing new things and places together! St. Augustine, we will see you again!

And we were so thankful for a safe and easy trip home! The kids were quite content napping, watching movies, snacking, and playing with their new toys from the pirate museum. We made it all the way from St. Augustine to Orangeburg before we stopped for a break and dinner! I would say that these kiddos have this traveling thing figured out! We made it home around 8:30, and we let the kids stay up a bit late while we got unpacked and settled. Vacation is awesome, but home is really, really great too!

five and a half!!

Oh, sweet Reecey, how have we gone so quickly from this….


to this….


i can’t believe that you are five and a half! you are getting to big too fast! mommy is going to need you to slow this down just a bit…

at five and a half, you love legos, karate, awanas, sleeping late, moes, superheroes, church, creating new things, making up words, being outside, and swinging. you are working so hard in kindergarten and really like math and science. you are an awesome big and little brother, and most days i don’t think you really mind being in the middle!

oh reecer, the lord has some big plans for you! he is going to use your passionate and fiery personality for a lot of good, and i’m so thankful that we get to be along for the ride! being your mommy is such a joy! we love you!

Hello, October!



Hello, October! We are so glad you’re here!

And I can’t think of a better way to welcome in October than a trip to the pumpkin patch! We had such a fun day with our friends playing on the playground, having a picnic lunch, making our way through the corn maze, visiting the pumpkin patch, eating apples, seeing the animals and and baby chicks, and going mining for gemstones!

Oh October, you are going to be so full and so fun!












America’s Oldest City, Part 3

thursday morning we woke up to sunny skies, so after another laid back morning we got ready and headed downtown to the fountain of youth! we got to drink some water from the fountain of youth, which the kids really liked. we got to walk all around the grounds where the spanish explorers first came to america in the 1500s! we got to see a cannon shooting, visit the huts like where the indians lived, watch a show in the planetarium about how the explorers made their way to america, and complete a scavenger hunt of different things we saw while on our tour!

after our trip to the fountain of youth, we came back to the condo for lunch and then headed to enjoy the sun on the beach! it was an absolutely beautiful afternoon of napping on the beach, playing in the waves, and building in the sand! before heading back to the condo, we finished off our afternoon at the pool, which i was not brave enough to get it because i thought it was too cold! it definitely didn’t stop jeffrey or the kids though!

jeffrey made us tacos for dinner while the kids bathes and played in the condo. carson’s favorite thing was to do “shows” for us in front of the coffee table, and we all absolutely had to be watching!

after dinner we drove down highway a1a to see a little more of the beach area and then stopped for ice cream at a local ice cream shop, coneheads! yum! it was a sweet ending to a great day!

America’s Oldest City, Part 2

Wednesday was another wonderful day in St. Augustine! We enjoyed a bit of a lazy morning sleeping in, eating breakfast, watching Disney Junior, feeding the ducks, and playing rummikub. Reece loves whenever he gets the chance to play a new game!

We headed out around 11:00am to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse. We got to go into the keeper’s house and walk all around the lighthouse grounds. The kids also participated in a scavenger hunt, looking for different objects all around the lighthouse. Carson wasn’t big enough to go to the top of the lighthouse, so he and I played on the playground while Jeffrey and the bigs climbed all 219 stairs to the top! It was windy up there, but they also had a beautiful view! Sarah Ann and Reece were so excited to wave to Carson and I from all the way at the top! There were also several nature trails, and the old trees were absolutely beautiful! I am so glad Jeffrey added this to our itinerary, because everyone really enjoyed it! Sarah Ann has decided that she wants to write her own American girl book about a girl who lived in the keeper’s house!

After our time at the lighthouse, we drove into the downtown area to scope things about a bit and we stopped for lunch at a delicious hole in the wall New York pizza place! The kids couldn’t believe how big the pieces of pizza were! Yum!

And let me just tell you that sweet Carson is just the most laid back, go with the flow two year old ever! By now we were coming up on his normal nap time, but he wasn’t going to miss any of the excitement! He was such a trooper through our entire trip to the Alligator Farm and Zoo! I have never seen more alligators in my life, but the kids thought it was absolutely awesome! We also got to see monkeys, birds, porcupines, snakes, crocodiles, turtles and lizards. We watched a rainforest talk and saw an alligator feeding! We also fed alligators in the swamp, played on the playground, and dug for treasure. It rained a bit off and on, but that didn’t stop any of the fun! And Carson stayed awake for the entire thing!

He crashed in the car on the way back to the condo, so we spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening watching a movie, playing more games, and eating spaghetti for dinner! Thank you, Jeffrey, for cooking!

After dinner we walked over to the beach to see the sunset and play in the sand. It was a cool evening, but the kids enjoyed playing tag and four corners on the beach! And then ended our day with a late night swim, and we had the whole pool to ourselves! It was a great ending to a super sweet day!

America’s Oldest City, Part 1

Last year we took a fall break and went to Disney in October, so when I created our school calendar for this year I decided to incorporate a few week long breaks again. I love being able to plan our own schedule and taking a fall break trip is definitely going to be a tradition we continue! We looked at several different options from going back to Myrtle to taking a cruise, but in the end we decided to go somewhere new and ended up in America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida! And it couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for our family! We had a three bedroom condo at St. Augustine Beach and were also only about 10 minutes away from downtown. We got to experience the best of sleeping in a “hotel” which the kids love, but also all still having room and space all to ourselves, and being able to enjoy the beach, which is our fave, but also getting to experience lots of new things in the downtown St. Augustine area!

We left Columbia around 10am on Tuesday morning, which was great since we aren’t fans of waking up early! We drove for about 3 hours and then stopped in Brunswick, GA for lunch. We then had about 2 more hours to go and arrived in St. Augustine right in time to check into our condo at 4! The kids were so excited to be there!

After getting settled and exploring our “home” for the next few days, we loaded up and headed to the beach! The afternoon was cool and a bit cloudy, but the kids were thrilled to play in the sand and jump in the waves while Jeffrey and I had a chance to relax on the beach! We were right near the St. John’s pier and park, so after spending some time on the beach, the kids also played on the playground and splashed in the splash pad right at the pier! It was so much fun!

Once the sun started setting, we freshened up and dressed up for dinner at the Sunset Grille. Sarah Ann and Jeffrey were happy to have seafood, and all of the food was so yummy!

We ended our night with a trip to Walmart to pick up groceries and a few other necessities, and then all crashed into our beds after a full and fun day!

Our sleeping arrangements were also a new adventure on this trip, and it worked out great for everyone! The boys shared a room with the twin beds, which Carson thought was so awesome, and it also gave Sarah Ann an opportunity to have her own room which she loved! Reece didn’t want to sleep alone, so he was happy with the arrangement too! And for the first time since Carson moved to a “big boy bed,” he wasn’t in the same room with Jeffrey and I on a vacation which was nice for us too! Thankfully everyone adjusted and slept well before beginning another exciting day in St. Augustine! More to come….

A Peak into Broadwell Academy, Part 2

Throughout the school year, I’m hoping to give a few little peaks into what homeschooling looks like for us, what’s worked for us, what hasn’t, and what we are all learning…

So here’s a little peak into our curriculum for this school year…

Math– We love Saxon math! The format is clear and easy to follow, and it is very black and white. The curriculum is also very cyclical, which I really like because it is continuously reinforcing all of the concepts that they have learned. Sarah Ann is completing Saxon 2 this year, and Reece is over halfway done with Saxon K (we started in the summer), so he will finish that this fall, and we will move onto Saxon 1 after Christmas.


Science–This year for science we are doing the Magic School Bus science club, and we have had so much fun with it so far! Each month we get a new kit in the mail about a different topic. Each kit comes with seven science experiments to complete as well as lots of information about the topic. Plus, I can add in Magic School bus episodes and other books from the library. So far we have done acids and bases and water, and next up is air! We do a couple of experiments each week, and the kids absolutely love it!


Social Studies–We are finally diving into our social studies curriculum next week! We are going to be doing “Road Trip” from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We will be learning about two states each week. We will be memorizing all the states and capitals, as well as learning about famous people, historical events, important facts about each state, and trying out some yummy recipes. We will be notebooking through the 50 states, and we are really looking forward to getting started!


Handwriting–This year Reece is doing the Kindergarten “A Reason for Handwriting” book. He really likes it, and each lesson teaches about a different animal to go along with the letter. Last year, Sarah Ann did the 1st grade book, but we took a break this year because I feel like she is doing enough handwriting in her writing/language curriculums. We will begin “A Reason for Handwriting” with her again next year when we start cursive!


Reece’s Reading–Here’s where the real fun begins! A couple of weeks ago we began level 1 in All about Reading with Reece. He is doing well, and we are figuring out our groove. We really like the hands on lessons and activities, and lots of repetition and confidence building. We will most likely continue this year round through all four levels. Reece has been so proud and excited when he has had to read stories! I also read to Reece (and usually Carson too) each day while Sarah Ann does her independent reading. Teaching your child to read has to be one of the hardest yet most awesome things to experience as a parent!


Sarah Ann’s Reading/Writing/Language–I went back and forth about having Sarah Ann to a structured reading curriculum, but in the end I just decided to let her read what she wants to read. She reads independently each day, and then she and Jeffrey always read before bed. She and I do her reading comprehension workbook together, so that I can hear her reading and also see that she is understanding what she reads. Oh, this girl loves to read, sometimes to the point where we have to tell her to stop reading and go to sleep because Mommy and Daddy are ready to go to sleep! For Sarah Ann’s writing and language, we have continued with Abeka. She is doing great, learning lots of grammar and the writing process. She is doing the second grade books this year, so it is challenging her, but she is working hard and doing really well! I am grateful that we can go through it all at her pace. We have really moved through a lot of it so far, but I know we will slow down a bit as she writes more and more.



As holidays and special activities come up, we do activities and read books to go with those topics. We love our weekly library trips and picking out all sorts of books, and of course spending time all reading together too. Next week we will be focusing on fall! For Bible, we memorize our Awana verses each week, and practicing their verses is one of the kids’ favorite things to do in the evening with Daddy before bed!

I am thankful for our curriculum to help guide us as we learn, but I am also so thankful that school is just a part of our daily life–learning, exploring, growing, observing, and experience it all together each and every day!

weekend in review

we jump started our weekend a little early on friday with a trip to target after finishing our school work. daddy told the kiddos that they could pick out their new halloween costumes! coming this fall we will have jasmine, a ninja, and captain jake! after target, we met lucy mills and mcclain (and of course mrs. lil too) at the park for lunch and a beautiful afternoon of playing outside!


friday night the kiddos spent the night with nanny and pops while jeffrey and i got to enjoy a date night with our friends nathan and christy! we are always so thankful to catch up and spend time with them! plus we got to see at carrabba’s which is one of my favorites! i also finished organizing the kids closets on friday night with their fall clothes, even though i’m sure we’ll still be wearing shorts for a while!

saturday morning jeffrey slept in while i went consignment sale shopping! then we cleaned up the house and enjoyed a lunch date at chipotle before picking up the kiddos and starting our full afternoon!


saturday afternoon jeffrey took sarah ann (and rebecca) to the american girl celebration at the library! this year was all about felicity, and sarah ann even volunteered and got to help with part of the show! she had a great time and was very grateful to daddy for taking her!


and while they were at the library, the boys and i helped emma celebrate her sixth birthday at her super sweet birthday party! reece had a great time playing games, playing with legos, and eating smores for emma’s special birthday treat!


auburn and lsu played each other on saturday afternoon and carolina and georgia played that evening, so we had some of our sweet friends over to have dinner and watch the games! it was a rough evening of college football at our house, but having people over kept me on my best behavior! ha! the kids all had a great time playing, and it was such a fun evening of food, friends, and football!


this morning i got to help in carson’s class at church, while jeffrey went to the service, and sarah ann and reece went to their class. they absolutely do not like to miss church! sarah ann loves dancing to the worship songs and crafting, and reece loves all the blocks and legos in the craft room! we are so thankful for mrs. stephanie and mrs. andrea and all that they do for our babies each week!


we really try and plan to keep sundays slow paced so that we can relax, enjoy family time together and prepare for another week! one of my favorite sunday evening traditions is grilling out, so tonight we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for the last summer sunday while the big kids enjoyed the wonderful evening breeze on the trampoline!



it’s been a good, good weekend! and now we’re all ready for a wonderful week!