Thursday, October 28, 2010

every thursday

Each Thursday evening, Matthew and I, along with 5 other couples, gather in our home. The day for me before this time is fairly hectic trying to clean (thankful for this otherwise who knows when it would get done) and cook and play etc. I am always excited once 5:45 rolls around when the boys head down the hill to the Provin’s (neighbors) and the adults gather in our kitchen. I love the sound of lots of chatter and the laughter that fills our home in a heartbeat.

Between the 6 couples we have 16 kiddos, soon to be 17. You could say our quivers are full J The oldest is 12 and youngest 6 months (not including baby boy Cavin in the womb). We are blessed to say the least.
{some of the bunch}

We come in and eye what each family brought to share with the group to eat. Matthew made this rule about 2 years ago that he would pray for the food if there was meat. Don’t ask. Usually he thanks God for the food.

The girls always sit around the table and the men always sit in the living room to eat. They talk about…well I don’t really know what they talk about, but we talk about everything from our week, to different events in our lives, to our children. Typical women things. The night is never complete without a joke about how “old” certain members of our group are. There are probably 8-10 years difference between all of us but it’s just fun (being one of the younger ones) to point out the fact that some of us were in middle school while others of us were graduating college. You know, friendly banter.

We have done all kinds of things as far as our discussion together. What I love most is being a part of a group of believers who desires to encourage one another in our walks with the Lord. The benefit of small group is that Matthew and I get to do something together. Though we still both lead a 10th grade boys and girls small group separately during the week, we actually get to experience the benefits of being a part of something with others that are seeking the Lord and having similar life experiences together. It’s been so good for the both of us.

We have also both developed great relationships through our group. God has blessed us with friends. With friends that are headed in the same direction as us. Friends that struggle. Friends that like to have a really good time. Friends that have children that are now our *children’s friends.

*Grey gets ridiculously excited about Thursday night. He asks me 55 times every Thursday if it’s time for small group yet. It's a good bargaining tool for him to take a nap or eat dinner. He would be crushed if he had to miss out.

We just had a couple from our group, Sean and Mendy, lead a group to Ecuador to minister to orphans there. It was a pleasure walking with them from the beginning stages to the actual trip sending them off and welcoming them home. We watched and prayed as the Lord provided workers, funds, and opportunities. Cindy, also from our group, committed to going on the trip as well and was blessed tremendously in her time there. I loved sitting and listening to them share one night over dinner all the things the Lord had done knowing that was not even half of it. The greatest thing was and is watching God continue to stretch and grow them in their ministry constantly. 

{this picture from the blog where you can read all about their trip!}

We are learning slowly what it means to be the church together. Though we are not good at it yet, that is still the desire of our hearts for our small group. We are all growing and changing but learning and sharing together. Some weeks I feel like we learn and share more than others but the truth is I love it every week. Two and a half years in and I am more than grateful for what the Lord has blessed us with every Thursday! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

relax to the max

We ventured to Atlanta this past weekend to spend some time with David, Steph, Maddie, and Tyson. It had been way too long since our last visit so we were all excited. In fact, I don't believe Tuck Man has had the pleasure of visiting their home. We remedied that this weekend and boy was it perfect!

We had no definite plans for the weekend. My kind of weekend. Mads had school on Friday but David took the day off so we just enjoyed relaxing and eating really yummy Mexican food. After Maddie got out of school we took it to the park. Our trip was complete with swings, slides, climbing, adult participation, and ducks! Happy Everybody!

Friday night the guys and big kids got to go to a hockey game! Apparently they had a great time and I enjoyed my evening on the couch with Steph. It was seasoned with great conversations, more relaxing, and a yummy chicken salad sandwich (or two) from Whole Foods while the little boys snoozed away.

We all got to ride around town doing various activities together in our van. We all still fit for now. Come March I'm pretty sure we are in trouble. We enjoyed a morning at my favorite breakfast place, Einstein Brothers Bagels. Mmm Mmm! Then made our way to the Forum for a little shopping and letting the kiddos get some energy out. Grey and Mads enjoyed story time at Barnes and Noble.

We enjoyed some DELICIOUS tailgating food and a game of Phase 10 Twist around the table during naptime. We waited around and played a little Mario Kart before watching the first half of the Clemson game. We cheered a whole heck of a lot and gave a lot of high fives before having to say farewell and head home. 

Matthew and I got to see the gigantic, beautiful moon rise into the sky as we munched on a hamburger and listened to the Tigers defeat the Yellow Jackets. I of course could not capture the hugeness of the moon as we came up over the hill but I tried..and failed. 

God truly did multiply our time together. It was great to relax and go as we wished. The kids had a blast together as well as the adults. Can't wait till next time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

number 3.gender reveal edition

Yesterday morning was like a semi-Christmas morning. We were finding out a really big surprise! I LOVE surprises. I would (most of the time) rather not know something than know it. So yesterday on my way to our ultrasound, I almost decided not to find out if we are having a boy or a girl this time. Even if I decided not to find out, I'm pretty sure this little boy wanted us to know he, in fact, is a little boy!

Now I was a little nervous about how Grey would take the news because that little man was certain he would have a sister. We continued to tell him that he could have another brother and that would be great. To that he always replied, "yeah and we could name him Treepuck." I'm not exactly sure where that one came from. 

It could have been the special treat that we used to reveal it to both boys but I'm betting he is going to LOVE having 2 brothers so close in age to boss around. Soon after finishing the cake he gave Matthew a hug and said, "yay! another brother!" We'll have to discuss the whole Treepuck thing. 

I have been thanking God continuously for His plan even when I might prefer something different. That truly is all Matthew and I both want. It is perfect. It is good. It is right. Praise He alone for a healthy life to raise and equip for His glory.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ideal fall saturday

Regardless of my recent obsession with everything Christmas, I am really enjoying fall.

Saturday morning I woke up beside a very happy and stress free man. Matthew has been buried under a pile (and I do mean PILE) of really big books for his Systematic Theology class. Friday night he turned in a rather large research paper on "God's Omnipresence" and he was DONE. 

We had planned a nice relaxing day for Saturday and it was just that. The temperature was a perfect 72ish degrees at the warmest part of the day. You would have found me in a jacket for the majority of the day which means the day was already perfect for me. I love cooler weather and wearing long sleeves and jackets. It means there's change in the air and I am all about some change.

We headed out that morning to the Fall Festival at the Greenway. It was delightful to say the least. Amongst the beautiful scenery, the boys both got to ride horses, chase each other through a hay bale maze, drink apple cider, and go on a hay ride minus the hay. Amen for hay rides without hay. We had our fair share in the maze. 

Tuck was ecstatic about the tractor! He couldn't get in it fast enough and waved at everyone like he was a celebrity. Grey enjoyed being "as big as a man like daddy" (a specific quote from the Grey Bear himself) We also enjoyed a few rounds of Cornhole. 

We made our way home for lunch and enjoyed watching the Tigers take down Maryland. Grey has really started to love watching Clemson play. He likes to pretend that he is in the game claiming to be #23 (Andre Ellington) which we gladly encourage him to aspire to. Last year it was C.J. Spiller. He has his priorities straight. 

 We napped, played, burned our Christmas tree from last Christmas, (that's right. It has been behind our house for 10 months) cleaned out the garage, ate soup for dinner, and enjoyed s'mores together and a little wrestling in the yard. 

After the boys were bathed and asleep, Matthew and I brewed a pot of cinnamon coffee (decaf coffee with cinnamon sprinkled in = delectable!) and settled on the couch to watch a movie and enjoy the fact that Matthew had nothing to think about other than the coffee and the movie.

Despite a massive headache I acquired somewhere around 3:30ish, the day was as ideal as it gets for our family. At least I can always relive it in pictures :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

pumpkins, recipes, and ducks

 Last weekend we spent some time at our favorite farmers market in downtown Charlotte and picked out our fall pumpkin. Ok, we ended up with lots of pumpkins. All colors, shapes, and sizes. They had so many options it was extremely hard to pick so we bought a little of everything for next to nothing. Our house is all "falled" out with pumpkins galore. I'm not complaining. I love this time of year! 

Grey and Tucker tried their strength at lifting our family pumpkin.

Grey eventually found one a little more his size.

Speaking of pumpkins...
In my current state of being pregnant, I have found myself with extreme food aversions. I have had no appetite most of the time and when I do even feel like eating, it's a toss up of if I can find anything I would not gag on. SO my family has been gracious to bear with me through this "phase" that doesn't seem to be passing. 

One thing that sounded so incredibly delicious to my picky palate were these pumpkin waffles. Wow wee they were absolutely delicious and I really enjoyed making them. My family thanked me too. Grey and Tuck ate lots and lots of them and asked for more. I highly recommend them!

Thank goodness it's fall {even though it hasn't felt like it this week} because another thing that I have been willing to eat is potato soup. Who would've guessed it?! Any soup at first was sounding good. Then I made a Mexican soup and I changed my mind. I am finding myself gravitating towards the creamier soups. And salads. And fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Ok, back to the soup. I whipped up this baked potato soup Sunday after church {*hint - it was quick and easy!} and the words from my husbands mouth were, "this is absolutely the best potato soup I have ever tasted!" I would have to agree with him. Tucker loved it too. Grey doesn't like potatoes so I didn't subject him to it. I used this recipe because of the flavor I could sense it would have. Boy was I right! I will change a couple of things next time but basically keep it close to the original. I am making it for our adult small group this Thursday evening since the temps are supposed to drop back to 70! 

The same day we picked out our pumpkins we headed for a picnic at Freedom Park with the boys. It's a beautiful park with a huge pond complete with ducks. This was quite the winner for both boys. They definitely spent way more time interacting with the ducks than playing on the playground.

"Look at those ducks!"

maybe if we lure them with sticks...

Happy Fall!


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