Wednesday, July 29, 2015

swimming lessons

It really felt like the summer didn't start until the end of June.  Preparing for our move and planning and taking our trip took up lots of time and energy no matter how much I vowed it would not.  Apparently I am not in control of such things, or anything.  I had even originally planned to host swimming lessons the week after our move but Jess's daughter had caught a virus that was going around the camp that she and her husband work with so after pushing it back a couple days we had to reschedule.

Moving into a house with a pool has been a blessing I never planned for.  Initially I was expecting constant feelings of anxiety of drowning fears but they were quickly replaced with lots of fun and an escape from the hot and humid Georgia summers with only mild feelings of anxiety and drowning fears.  Which is why swimming lessons are a must!  Especially for Logan whose daredevilness makes him think he is invincible.  He wears his puddle jumpers when he's in the water because he's not tall enough to touch but starting actual swimming skills is a must for him.  Micah and Connor can both 'swim' technically but I really want them to learn proper strokes, treading water skills so they also took lessons.

The really fun thing was that since the lessons were in my backyard and the teacher was a friend we opened it up to other friends and their kids which meant every day for a week my boys got a playdate and I got adult interaction, a definite must for long summer days!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First timers

Micah and Connor had their first overnight camp experience this summer at Camp Westminster in Conyers, GA.  They were really excited to go and I was just as nervous to watch them go.  Our only overnights have been with grandparents or close friends so this was a brand new thing that mama wasn't sure if she was ready for.  But, a good friend from church is the facilities director there and two wonderful teens from our church were counselors and I was assured that many eyes would check in on them.  My best friend's kiddos were also going the same time so they already had built in buddies just in case.

We dropped them off on Wednesday for a half week of First Timer's camp with their bags all packed and labeled and notes to open each day and left them there in the hands of others and a cabin full of loud and crazy boys which was a giant exercise in Faith.  

After we dropped them off Zach and I headed to Auburn to meet my parents because if the big boys weren't going to be at home it would be helpful to my giant list of to dos if the Logi Bear wasn't there either.  He spent the next four days with my parents and I spent the next four days unpacking, cleaning, decorating, watching old movies and going on dinner dates with my husband.  

We reach had a great time at our perspective places and I was very excited about getting my babies back.  However I was also very excited about getting the opportunity to miss them in the first place!

The Big Inning

The week after Romania Micah and Connor went to VBS and music camp with some baseball friends.  While it was rough getting going in the morning to get them there it was nice for them to have somewhere to go while Logan and I cuddled up and watched movies waiting for me to recover from jet lag.  

That Friday night after only two hours of afternoon practice a day they presented their musical called The Big Inning, a baseball themed comedy introducing us to integral members in the Hall of Faith.  They loved every second of their week and I was so thankful for friends who welcomed our boys in with their church for the week.  It's already on their summer list for next year!

4th of july

Two things we are looking forward to most about our new home is getting to know our neighbors and opening our home for our community of friends and family.  We were able to do both this past 4th of July and it was about the most perfect feeling Southern weekend I could have imagined.  

Every July 3rd Oxford Proper (inside the tiny city limits of Oxford) hosts a potluck dinner.  We along with my younger brother who was visiting and two friends who also moved into the neighborhood recently walked down the road with our offerings of pasta salad and blueberry cobbler.  We sat on the ground and in lawn chairs, introduced ourselves and were introduced to LOTS of new faces, and learned that we kind of love this new place God gave us and am so excited about getting to know and learning more about the people around us.

The next day we were all ready with friends to watch the 4th of July parade which just happens to parade itself right in front of our home.  Pretty fantastic!  Unfortunately it was rainy all morning.  The skies appeared to be about to clear up and we sent a spy to check to see if the parade was going to happen.  When he came back with a big yes we took our group down the driveway to settle in for a stream of red white and blue floats, candy and firetrucks.  As soon as we saw the lead banner crest over the hill it started MONSOONING!  My gracious!  The guys ran to get our patio umbrellas and we sat bunched up under the chairs cheering on the dedicated patrons with the occasional child running out from under it gathering candy out of puddles.

Thankfully the skies cleared up and by early afternoon is was a gorgeous day because we were set to host our big first church event, a 4th of July BBQ.  The tables were set, the lawn games were out, the pool was clean, the giant house to do list was still giant but if there is one thing I have learned from following the nester its that you open your house for hospitalities sake not because everything is finally perfect because it does not have to be perfect to beautiful and when you have kids it never has the chance to be.

It was a truly fantastic afternoon of conversation, one anothering, swimming, playing and eating.  It was everything I hoped it would be as groups who normally never get to be together for longer than a church service got to sit and talk for hours.  The evening ended with a small group of us going to the Covington Square for the fireworks display and after a long and exhausting day we settled into bed with very full and thankful hearts.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday song

Great are you Lord
All Sons and Daughters

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

All the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

Friday, July 24, 2015

RO2:friday and final

Our week flew by.  Before we knew it, it was Friday and there was only a day left before half of our group, which included Zach and me, flew home and left the other half there for a second week of helping the Bruskis in any way they could.  

Fridays are full of driving.  The mornings are spent visiting the abandoned babies at a local(ish) hospital.  As much as I love that they are so invested in the lives of these babies that they hired a nurse to be with them and give them interaction they wouldn't already get, it is such a hard place for me to visit.  However, that Friday we got to see a mom and dad bring a baby home to care for as their own and the excitement on their faces and their social workers' faces gave me another very needed glimpse of Hope.  

Another glimpse came shortly after as we visited a village and DID NOT experience a riot while passing out candy.  That might not sound like an incredibly hopeful thing but to visit the village of Bogei which is so big and still so new to not having to steal and fight to make sure you get what you need, it's a HUGE accomplishment.  We were able to stay longer and play and left on a high note.  It didn't happen when they visited the next week but they know it can happen and sometimes that's the exact glimpse you need.

Friday night was full of goodbyes that I didn't want to make.  Goodbye to our Statesboro friends.  Goodbye to the missionary families who live and work there that we love so much and grew to know even more over the week.  Goodbye to the beautiful countryside.  Goodbye to the many faces we saw knowing how different they'll look when we get to see them again.  Goodbye to the time away where our main focus was Christ in us and around us.  We spent the evening worshiping with singing and sharing last thoughts and experiences. 

 Zach and I were gifted with some lovingly encouraging and challenging words from Aaron which are still swimming around in my heart and head wondering if, how or when they might be a part of our future.  

This place means more to me than I ever thought it would and I pray you have a place that means the same to you.  Whether it's local or international, I pray you have a ministry, a country, a people who God has placed on your heart to be a part of, to support, to love, outside of your comfortable community of believers you see every Sunday.  

Above and below me
Before and behind me
In every eye that sees me
Christ be all around me
~All Sons and Daughters