Monthly Archives: July 2015

Pool with Mandy

Yesterday we were able to go to a new pool with some old friends, Mandy and Malina.  Mandy and I taught together years ago, before I had kids. Her daughter is one year younger than Faith and they all play together very well.  

We haven’t been to the pool a lot this summer. For some reason the kids don’t really want to go (and I don’t want to force them because I don’t want to go either). I think they are just getting bored with it and it has been very hot outside this summer. The last few summers have been quite nice but this one is just hot, humid and over ninety degrees everyday.  Thankfully, we had a beautifully mild day and were with friends.  

Out of everyone, I think the boys had the best time.   There was a water slide there that they went down over and over again.  I loved watching them play together.  Wilson didn’t want to leave because he was having so much fun sliding with Miller.  I think that miller is finally old enough to play the rougher games that wilson likes to play without getting hurt. It makes me happy to see them play as friends. 


Of course the girls had an equally enjoyable time as well.  We look forward to going over there again in a few weeks.  


Half way through

It is now mid-July and summer is half way over. I dread going back to school, both for me and the kids. I really enjoy sleeping in and having nothing to do each day except work out and play with the kids.  I guess this is what it would be like to either home school or be independently wealthy….neither of which describes us.  

I have to admit that not everyday is made of rainbows and sunshine.  Some days are entirely fun, but most of them are filled with bits of fun sandwiched between refereeing, chores and yelling at the kids to be nice to each other and to me.  It can be exhausting.  I made a pact with myself on Monday that I would try not to yell. I would speak firmly yet calmly.  I am having decent results but sometimes yelling is a necessary evil. Sometimes I think that they don’t even hear me unless I turn up the volume considerably.  I am sure that many of you can relate. 

One thing that I am proud of this summer is getting into a routine that includes the kids reading and doing something other than begging for TV. I have both wilson and Faith reading each day and learning about money and telling time. It only takes thirty minutes which perfect for all of us. I feel like an organized, scholarly mom and the kids can get ahead a bit in school.  It’s a win-win. (I even began to use reading as a punishment for Faith’s constant sassy-ness)

What have we done all summer?  I could not tell you. The time is flying by and I can’t seem to stop it from passing so rapidly.  It has been so blazing hot this summer that most of our time is spent indoors. My living room and dining room contains the most giant blanket fort that I have ever  seen.  I told them that they have until Sunday before I take it down.  I barely have sheets on my bed anymore. They are all in the living room.  This is summer break…..


Gabriel and Shepherd

Now that Doug lives in Maryland, we don’t get to see him and his kids as often as we used to.  Of course, since we drove the boys down from PA with us, we could see them all week long.  My kids loved it!!  The five children played together everyday, sometimes at my house and other times at my parent’s house (I enjoyed that too because it gave me some free time).  During their time together we went to the pool twice….   

 The kids had a sleep over at our house and then one at my mom’s.  Gabriel ended up with strep throat the night he stayed at my house.  My mom took him to the doctor and then dropped him back off at my house.  Not even strep throat was going to keep him away from his sleepover. The kids had been playing together for days.  If they were going to get strep throat it was already in the making – one more night wouldn’t change anything.  Yep, that is just how I roll…(However, I came down with it three days later)

 And then my parents took all five kids to the train museum for the day….


I love my little nephews.  They are so sweet.  It has been really neat to form a relationship with them.  We have actually gotten closer now that they have moved.  I guess we just took each other for granted when we lived two miles from each other.


For the last two months we have had our house on the market so that we could move to another home in Charlotte.  We decided to try to sell it ourselves, because frankly, it didn’t seem THAT difficult.  As the process wore on, we did realize that a realtor would have driven more traffic through our house, but we continued trying to do it ourselves because I truly felt that that was what we were supposed to do.  I kept telling myself, “It only takes one person to come through here in order to have a buyer.”

Tom and I began looking at houses just so that we could see what was out there and if there was anything better than what we already had….there was.  Looking for a home is very fun and exciting – much more fun than selling one.  As fate would have it, we looked at a home on Thursday that we both really liked.  It fit all of our qualifications – good price, nice backyard, cul-de-sac, pool, and geographically suitable (close to the kids new school and not too far from my parents).  We almost made an offer on Saturday, but decided that buying a house before selling the current house was not a good idea.  If the Lord wanted us to have that house then it would still be available when ours sold.  We felt comfortable with the decision and knew that waiting was the best way to go.

I guess the Lord wanted us to have that house because on Monday morning I checked my email and there was an offer to purchase our house.  We countered the offer and they accepted the terms.  I was so excited!  I couldn’t believe that someone was really buying our house.  Somewhere inside of me there was a doubt as to whether or not we were really supposed to be moving to another home in Charlotte.  We have been in this house for nine years and I didn’t know if moving was in the cards for us.  If we didn’t move I was going to be okay with that too.  Well, I guess a new house was going to be in our future.   By the end of the day, we had agreed to sell our house and agreed on the terms to buy the house that we knew we wanted.  It was a very exciting, and a bit nerve wracking as well.  I cried while driving home because I realized that we would not be living in our house for very much longer.  It will be bitter-sweet, I am sure.

So, now we wait.  We go through all of the inspections, filling out forms, and eventually begin packing.  We won’t be moving until the end of August, but I know that it will be here before we know it.  I kept saying that we were “selling the house ourselves”, but the Lord is the one who sold our house for us.  He has also found us a new home.  We simply did what we felt we were supposed to do.  We took baby steps, and then kept walking.  We don’t know if both of these sales will be finalized, but we are praying that they will and we know that either way, God has it all under control.  The reality of the move is settling in and I am getting excited to start another chapter in the life of our family.


We flew in last Wednesday morning from Atlanta (we missed all of our connecting flights from Denver on Tuesday), drove home from the airport, grabbed a few additional items, picked up the kids from my mom’s house, and began the drive up to Mechanicsburg, PA to see Tom’s family.  It was a bit chaotic trying to get out of town, but it worked out well because we already had bags packed from the week prior and could get out of town earlier than expected.  Now that the kids are older, these nine hour drives are much more enjoyable than they were in years past.

This year’s trip went very well.  We were able to spend a good amount of quality time with Rebecca, Will, Kim and Alexis.  We even got over to Shelly and Vern’s house for ice cream one afternoon.  It rained all day on the 4th but that didn’t stop us from having steak and burgers for lunch…..

We had a great time visiting with family, especially Tom’s mom, Rebecca.  She was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.  We have been very blessed to have her around for two full years and many visits.  She has recently stopped all treatments and now waits to see what the Lord has in store for her and her husband, Will.  It was difficult to say “good-bye” to her this time because the cancer will eventually win, but hopefully not before we can make it back up there for Christmas.  I am very thankful that we were able to see her, talk to her and give her many hugs.  I am praying that we will see her at Christmas or sooner.  She is a wonderful Grandmother to the kids and I know that they enjoy seeing her as well.  She and Faith have a very sweet relationship.   Here they are together testing out Maw-Ma’s cool bed….

As usual, we took one day to drive over to Dutch Wonderland for the day.  If you have never been to Dutch Wonderland and are planning to drive through Lancaster, PA with small children, then you must go!  It is an amusement park geared towards children under the age of ten.  This year Alexis went with us and my brother Doug drove over to meet us with his two boys, Gabriel and shepherd.  It is always nice to have extra adults because the kids tend to want to ride different rides due to their level of bravery and interests.  At first, I took the little boys on the easy rides, Tom took Faith on the roller coasters, and Wilson and Gabriel vacillated between the two.   Towards the end of the day, I went on three rides with Faith, one of which was the Tilt-a-Whirl.  I was so dizzy by the end of the ride that I literally didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk off of the platform without falling over.  I don’t do spinning rides, but Faith was begging me to go with her and I wanted to give her the gift of riding something fun with her mom.  After the Tilt-a -Whirl I rode two roller coasters with her…..yes, I was getting more and more dizzy.  Finally, she asked to ride the carousel, at which point I had to say, “You are riding this one alone.”

One of our favorite events is the diving show.  Here we are dry, before the show…This gathering was especially neat because my kids were with all of their first cousins: Alexis, Gabriel and Shepherd (who had never previously met each other)….

We always enjoy our trips up north.  It is a fun time with extended family and our own little family.  For the drive home we added two more kids to the car – Gabriel and Shepherd rode back to NC with us.  The more the merrier!!


Tom and I just had the best five day vacation to Colorado.  We flew out there for many reasons: see Widespread Panic at Red Rocks, visit my friends, go hiking, and have some fun together.  We successfully did all of those things, and then some.

We were able to see two nights of Widespread Panic at Red Rocks. If you have never seen music at Red Rocks Amphitheater then you need to put it on your bucket list.  It is both beautiful and an amazing experience.  Thanks to my friend TC we were able to be in the second row one night and fifth row on the other.  Incredible seats.  If you look very closely you can see Tom in a blue hat talking to me in the second row left of center…..

 I loved hiking when I lived in Colorado. It was one of my favorite pastimes. I was itching to get back on a trail that went up hill. Thankfully Tom was willing to follow me.  Of course one trail went aggressively uphill 1200 feet in less than an hour’s walk and the other hike took five hours round trip. To me, they were both worth the effort and breathlessness (we started at 9000 ft).

Us at the top of Mount Royal in Frisco, CO.

 A new hike for me was our five hour trek up to Mohawk Lakes and back. It was so beautiful at the Upper Lake that I literally cried.