Sunday, August 28, 2016

School and Birthday FUN!!!

We've been busy getting back into the swing of things with school and sports starting and Grace having her 4th birthday!!!

***All 3 kiddos have hit the teacher jackpot and had a great start to their 2nd, 4th, and pre-K school year! We are so grateful for the Lord's provision in the details of our life, both big and small!

Meet the Teacher!

In case you can't read the sign...  Abigail still wants to be a teacher at The Rise School with Grace as her assistant teacher.

This year, Andrew also wants to teach at the Rise School, alongside of Abby, and with Grace as their assistant. 

Grace wants to be a teacher too!

First day of school!

***A couple of highlights from the first week of school:

I just love Andrew's heart... His "5 awesome facts about himself" at the bottom are so simple!

Grace (and the rest of us) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Grace's new school! Praise the Lord! I especially love that they love that "she's very talkative!" I don't think her Elementary School teachers will always appreciate that quality of hers (LOL)!

This little girl does not enjoy reading (so a chapter book a week in 4th grade is a tall order for her), but she loves a challenge and accomplishing goals, so it's been such a blessing to see her choose to power through her book without the slightest fuss, even when it's inconvenient.

***Saturday was Grace's 4th birthday!!!  This kid has rocked our world in the best of ways! She (in God's strength and provision) has driven us to take permanent residence on our knees, as we have fought (and will always be fighting) for her life, learned how to dance in the rain instead of wait for life's storms to pass, and continue to marvel at how a little person can be one of the mightiest prayer warriors I know. The lessons God teaches me through this little life are such an incredible gift. Who am I that I get to be her momma?  

We celebrated this little girl in the simplest, but most special way, doing all of her favorite things!  Donuts for breakfast, playing together as a family, taking "baby" to play at the park...

Swinging with "baby"...

I guess Andrew was overseeing the swinging process with a birds eye view...

Ran laps with Sissy to get nice and conditioned for the soccer season (Grace starts soccer in a couple weeks ;-)

Cheering Bubba and Sissy on as they jumped off swings...

Swimming with friends...

 Eating cake(I must have missed that picture because I was busy stuffing my face)!

Check out this Anna dress and tights from Bubba and Sissy!

And... LOOK! A real (pretend) make up kit from Mommy Daddy because my favorite thing to do in the morning is make up with Mommy!

 Check out the coolest balloon ever that Grace's second favorite princess (after Elsa and Anna), Mrs. Jill brought over for her!

Much love, (((hugs))), and blessings to you!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Final stretch of Summer...

Second half of the summer fun has included...

*Lots of family soccer (not pictured because, well if those pics existed they would be full of sweaty messes)...

*Abigail attended an amazing running camp that I'm so grateful to have discovered.  They pushed them hard (hills, sprints, etc), but the foundation of it all was using our gifts to glorify the Lord.

Abigail listening intently to one of the speakers, who were all very motivating!

Post work out cold towels!

Another motivational speaker...  Brandon is blind, but that doesn't stop him from being a triathlete 

Andy's running camp crew!

*Big kids at Children's Museum with Papa and KK for Papa's birthday and Grace at the Childrens Museum with special friends!

Grace at Children's Museum with PRECIOUS friends!

*Andrew has been taking piano, Grace of course LOVED every second of Princess Ballet, lots of family games, and taking "baby" to the park!

My favorite Princess Ballet video!

*Fun at mini ninja warrior class!  These videos were each of the kids favorite obstacle...

Excuse the nervous mommy in the background in both videos :-/

*GIGI's PLAYHOUSE FUN!  Busy Bodies class...

Awards ceremony on the last day of the Young Athletes Program at Gigi's Playhouse.  Grace loved the program and Abigail and Andrew loved volunteering!  Way to go on organizing such a great event Lindsay!!!

The Bestie's are having a team meeting ;-)

The Youth Athlete participants and siblings!

*THE BEACH to celebrate Grace's birthday (a few weeks early) with the cousins.  This is Grace's happy place!

*David read the kids the first book of Harry Potter and now they are on their fourth time of watching the movie in 3 days!

*Little sleep because of a lot of Olympics watching!

Speaking of Olympics...  this has been somewhat of a surreal time for me because last Summer Olympics David and I were 32 weeks pregnant and had just got Grace's Up's diagnosis as we were headed out of town to a bed and breakfast for a "baby moon."  I spent those days at the bed and breakfast doing a lot of crying, praying, journaling, seeking counsel from David, and watching the Olympics literally around the clock.  I remember sitting in bed long after David had fallen asleep and it was just me, God, and the Olympics, wrestling through the why's and how's of our new journey which had long been my worst fear come true.  Fast forward four years and a story of redemption springs forth!  As we watch the Olympics as a family of five, constantly distracted by the belly laughs resulting from Grace cheering loudly at the TV or pretending she's a swimmer or doing gymnastics, I'm reminded that what was so devastating 4 years ago is actually one of our greatest blessings, serving as a neon flashing sign constantly pointing us to Jesus.  Grace, our daughter, and God's grace (undeserved blessings) has literally saved us from ourselves and changed the way we see EVERYTHING in life.

Ephesians 3:20-21New International Version (NIV)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Village, y'all have been on this journey with us for 4 years almost to the day!  Words will never adequately express our love and gratitude toward each of you.  Thank you and I hope you are in it with us for the long haul!  Much love, blessings and (((hugs))) to each of you!!!