Thursday, March 20, 2014

Building Memories with Dad @ BBP

This was Hubby's 1st Dad's Dessert Night in a long time where he only had one kid and one classroom to visit.  Here are some links to some of our previous Dad's Dessert Nights...2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. That was a fun trip down memory lane :)  

Hubby was working a few weeks ago for Daddy Daughter Date Night at CFA, so we opted to help make this night super special for the two of them.  After school Sister and I tried out the new nail place that opened a few weeks ago near us.  Sister has been SO excited about going ever since she noticed the "little kid" pedicure chairs.  She LOVED every minute of it and was so excited that they did everything they do "to big people too". It was really fun!

She also got her dress new at the consignment sale a few weeks ago and it was funny how so many of our friends thought it looked just like her.  I love it! Although, along with her new haircut she looks way too old to me! She was so excited to get all dressed up for Daddy.

I found out later that Sister and one of her good friends at school had decided, amongst themselves, that they would "dress" their Dad's for tonight.  I didn't hear much about it, except for when Sister asked if he had a bow tie to wear, ha! Love her! We might have to fix that and get him one :)

He took her to Chili's for dinner and they had a great time before heading over to the church.  I love that they got to have such a special night together.

Sweet love. I love that have such a special bond.

The theme of tonight was Legos and the scripture they focused on was Psalm 127.  Our teachers were so creative and had such a fun time with the theme...

 which of course helped my people have fun too.  Silly faces!

It was a fabulous night and after 6 years I can't believe we only have one more *tear*.  I love that BBP and the events that have been etched into our kids memories.  It will always be a very special place to us!

Psalm 127
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves. 3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Celebrating the GREEN

How well do you know me? Do you know I love the color green? I mean LOVE it! Any excuse to celebrate with green is good with me...especially when it is educational!

Monday we are celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a fun rainbow activity.  The kids have to complete eight activities (each starting with the first letter of the color of the rainbow in order..ROYGBIV, yep, I like them in order, know me right?!)  And when they finish and turn in their rainbow they get their surprise. (My plan is to finish everything but the last 2 before we leave for the library and leave the treats for them to find when we get home, love it!)

This is a copy of the "worksheet".  We are reading a couple of books about St. Patrick.  One is a book I found on amazon called "The Story of St. Patrick" and the other is the nonfiction MTH Fact Tracker that talks about Irish folklore.

Can I vent for one minute and say how frustrated I was to pick up a book in Barnes and Noble in the St. Patrick Day section and it have NO MENTION of St. Patrick in it. Um, no. I don't care about fairy myths or leprechauns. I wanted information on WHO the holiday is named was a FAIL on my part that I started highlighting in the book before I realized there was no chapter on the namesake.  I was a little frustrated, BUT it did give me some information on the Irish culture and their myths and legends.  I decided the kids and I would make a chart discussing legends vs. what we actually know.  I have realized St. Patrick's Day is a good holiday for that! (leprechauns, gold, pinching, fairies, snake whisper, Ha!)

We also have an additional St. Patrick's Day worksheet I found online the kids will work on together. The rest of the stuff is finishing their morning work and additional work before we head to the library. (Mondays are always library days in our world :)

But hopefully, they will complete the rainbow, so when we walk back in the door these can be left for the kiddos. I saw the idea on pinterest and loved it...buying a bunch of fun green stuff, okay!  It was actually pretty easy! I can't wait for the kids to get to the end of their rainbow. 

 Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Don't forget your green on Monday and don't get pinched! And if you really want to celebrate St. Patrick's legacy, make sure you are sharing the love of Christ with others everyday! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Adventures at Fort Yargo

So this weekend was one of those weekends when everything seemed to fall into place.  Hubby switched liberty days with a coworker a few weeks ago when he needed the day off, so his was moved to today.  That gave us a rare Friday, Saturday and Sunday off together...woo hoo!! We didn't want to waste it just sitting around (especially with the beautiful weather that was predicted), so Hubby checked with his parents who graciously let us grab the camper last minute and we headed to a state park near us.  We had a few weekend plans, so we opted for one we had never camped at before, but wasn't too far called Fort Yargo. 

Hubby and Brother headed up there early on Friday to get us a good spot. (They did an awesome job!) The park was pretty packed this weekend, so I am glad they took the extra time to scope it out :)

We headed up there after Sister and I got home from school on Friday and were setting up and hanging out by about 4:00pm. These kiddos were excited to be there! We love camping!

Helping Daddy start the fire... We pretty much just hung out, cooked dinner on the grill, played games and spent time together. No TV or technology...I love those weekends!
 Saturday morning some of our plans got changed and we were excited to spend the day all together.  Grandma and Grandpa stopped by with some extra firewood and Hubby's fishing license (he had left it in his truck) and we all headed out to the lake to do a little fishing and spend some time together. 

 Brother does a great job being patient and waiting for the fish to get his worm...
 Sister is much more interested in the snacks we brought to eat while we wait...
 or the actual worms themselves, ha.
 She had lots of fun hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa too :)

We also got to check out the fort they have there from around 1792.  The kids have been watching the "Liberty Kids" and learning all about that time period, so they thought it was super cool.  The "guide" heard me asking them questions and he asked if they were "accidentally learning"... I think he confused Brother since that is pretty much how we learn all the time, ha.  He doesn't think of it as an accident!
 The "beehive" oven.
 Family picture :)
 Home sweet home!  Saturday night Sister and I chilled at the camper...colored pictures, roasted marshmallows, played uno...while the boys went on a night hike with the park ranger.  They said it was SUPER fun.  They got to learn all about nocturnal animals and check out the woods at night...pretty sure that is going to make it into the lesson plans for this week!  We had a wonderful weekend just being together and the weather couldn't have been any more perfect....chilly in the evenings and highs in the 70s.  
 The last pictures were the kids asking me to get them in "action".  They were jumping off the log and wanted to see themselves in the air.  It was too funny!

 Then they wanted to do it at the same time...

 Love them, they make me smile everyday! I can't wait until our next adventure!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fire Wife

I don't talk about the joys and struggles with Hubby's job too much on my blog, but I also always try to obey when I feel the Lord is prompting, so here I go.  With every job there are definitely highs and lows that effect our daily life.  In general, most people don't usually "get" how our life works.  Even our schedule seems to throw people off.  We have struggled with finding our "place" at church just b/c it is so hard to explain to people when he will and won't be there. I prayed for YEARS to find the perfect part time job for him and of course what was it...another fire station, who totally gets his schedule.  Luckily, we have a lot of close friends and family who understand (or at least understand my color coded calendar :) and are able and willing to plan things around his schedule.  They are a blessing to us everyday.

The downfalls come when he just isn't home much, like last week.  He picked up some extra shifts, which is a huge blessing financially, so I try not to complain.  But the hardest part is when I have had a hard day (which happened a couple of times last week :( and all I wanted was to talk to him.  I talk to his voicemail a lot at Dekalb and if I do get him about 1/2 way through that crazy bell goes off.  Then I start the struggle in my head of calling someone else just to be "emotional", deal with it myself, or talk to the Lord for a little while.  Last week that bell went off a lot...I think the Lord was trying to tell me something.  My control personality likes to "fix" things and I am learning that somethings are only fixable with God. 

By the end of a couple of 48 shifts my patience can run a little thin.  I love that Hubby can see that and will step in with the kiddos just when I need it.  I know other parents who are single or whose husbands are gone a lot can relate to having to be the disciplinarian and the comforter.  Some days are definitely harder than others. 

Truthfully though, the joys in firefighting for us are huge and outweigh all the struggles.   We know that we know that Hubby is where he is supposed to be. He loves his job and doing what he does everyday.   I know that being in the Lord's will is worth all the struggles to us.  I love my husbands heart and how much he cares for people.  He NEVER lets his job be an excuse for family time...just please excuse him if he is a little grumpy from no sleep the day after a shift. (We have literally apologized to people in advance :) Our good friends totally get it...some have let him sleep on the couch when we come over for dinner, ha) 

His schedule can also be a benefit when he is off random days during the fun time, he gets to help with homeschool (and is awesome at it!) and I can look at my color coded schedule and tell you what we will be doing 6 months from now.  I know that the Lord calls us all to something different.  Our family truly feels called to be a fire family.  The Lord is always showing me something new and this week I think He has been showing me, that just as people don't always get our life 100%, I don't always get others either.  I am working on it...I love how the Lord weaves lives together to challenge each other and grow together. 

My sweet husband made me this bracelet for me this week and it couldn't have come at a better time.  He sells them on his etsy shop (yes he has an etsy shop, ha). They are made from fire hose and I love it! It is such a blessing and reminder that he is always supporting me, even if he isn't there.  I asked him to put Proverbs 3:5-6 on the inside.

If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for listening to my rambling.  Sometimes I think the Lord just calls us to share our heart.  Thank you for being a part of our fire family and praying for us.  We love you guys! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Field Trip February

February didn't start out to be a month full of field trips, but I definitely didn't mind arranging plans for the awesome opportunities we were blessed with!  Last week, Brother was scheduled to hang out with his "school buddy" JK and JK's little sister was on winter break.  His mom decided to do something fun with the kiddos, and my blessed little boy got to tag along.  The Georgia Aquarium is pretty awesome and even though the kiddos have been a few times, there is never a shortage of something fun to do or see. I loved this fun picture KK was able to catch. Brother talked about the trip for DAYS and I love that they were able to get to do it together. 

Next we visited somewhere in Atlanta the kids had not actually been to before!  I am not sure why, but when I looked online I realized they were typically closed on Mondays...that is our usual "go to" day, so it probably had effected my decision making process in the past.  This year we were blessed with some tickets as a Christmas gift, so I was excited to explore the museum and find out more about what they do.   The Center for Puppetry Arts definitely held their attention.  I scheduled our tickets for a show called "Weather Rocks!" and we went on a Sunday afternoon. I am not sure what the crowds are usually like, but it was pretty slow the day we went.  The kids couldn't wait to check it out! 

The first thing we did was head upstairs to the "puppet workshop".  I was worried we wouldn't have time after the show, or it would be crazy, so we wanted to do it first.  They set out supplies and directions and all the kids (and adults if you would like too) get to make their own puppet.  The kids LOVED it! 

 Yay for crafts!
 Completing our talking suns.
 Then, time to decorate them!
 ha! Sister's cracked me up...she wanted sunglasses, a hat, mustache and a "tiny little beard".  Too funny. 
 Brother added a hat, sunglasses and beard. Creativity is fun!
 Next we explored the museum for a few minutes before it was time to find our seats for the show.
 Brother and Sister puppet theater. 

Finding our seats!  The show was general admission and NOT crowded at all, so we had great seats.  There was singing, dancing and tons of can't beat that.  Plus, it was all about the weather and the kids learned a lot :)

After the show we headed back to one of the areas we had not gotten a chance to explore. We still had an hour or so before the museum closed, so we took our time and made sure to check out everything we could. It looks like they are about to go through a large expansion and add in a lot of Jim Henson stuff.   The kids also wanted to go back and check out another show, so we will definitely be making plans to go back.

 Yay for new adventures!

The last field trip was a little more "spur of the moment".  I saw yesterday that the weather was supposed to be beautiful today, so I asked Hubby if he wanted to use our  Atlanta Zoo membership and head downtown for awhile in the AM.  It was SO fun!! It was a perfect day to be at the zoo.  Amazing weather, the animals were all out and playing, not too crowded and we even ran into some friends at the end of the day.  

The giraffes were a family favorite.  They were busy running around and eating together.  Sister loved that there were 4 of them...she likes to name them all after us. 

 The rhino seemed bored...I think after yesterday (we heard it was CRAZY...about 6000 people) the crowd was not as entertaining today. 

 Baby cubs!! One of our favorite things all day was all the babies that were at the zoo!! Panda cubs, lion cubs, even baby gorillas, they were all adorable. 

 Pretending like they are birds in the nest.
 Momma and baby gorilla hanging out :)

 Now they are monkeys...I guess Brother is a wee bit temperamental, ha.
 Panda fun!
 Lunch time...
 Sorry for the glare, but the twins were hanging out together asleep on a branch.
 Petting zoo = goat love.

 Me and my girl <3 font="">

 We always try to find one thing new or different to do when we visit somewhere we have been before.  This trip we purchased some sticks ($1 each) with seeds on them to feed the parakeets. The kids thought it was great.  The birds must not have been fed in awhile b/c they were diving and swooping to land on our sticks and get some freaked Sister out a little!
 Hubby and Brother were naturals though!

 Got one!
 She finally got one...and didn't jump and scare it :)
 Hubby got 2! 

 Lastly, we headed to the playground to run a little while before the ride home.  As we were there some friends from church came in and the kids enjoyed seeing everyone...that is always a fun treat!

On the way home I asked the kids to have a little "quiet" time since I knew we would need to finish up school at home.   It cracked me up that this is what Brother did with his quiet time... they spent the rest of the trip passing notes to each other. Love them! 

We are super blessed with our time and our kiddos!  This month has had crazy weather, irregular schedules and new challenges, but we have enjoyed extra family time, new adventures and family projects! I can't wait to see what March brings!!