Life has been crazy the last 2+ weeks. We all had to stop though and take pause when the Connecticut shootings happened. We all hugged our children and cried many tears. We pray for the families as they struggle to get through this Christmas season and we paid tribute to the 26 following our Christmas Eve Candlelight service.
The clouds cleared and the moon shone bright.
We lit and released 28 balloons. 26 for Connecticut, 1 for 2 local missing children and 1 for children of violent crimes. It was a fitting tribute to our service.
Each name was read and the church bell rung as each balloon lifted off.
Every day I thank God for these beautiful children. They continue to amaze me, shock me and usually make me laugh. They're not afraid to volunteer when something needs to be done...even if it means getting up at 4:00 a.m., after a late night band competition, to help cook breakfast at the church. They make me proud.
This one asked me if I had made my New Year's resolution yet? What?! Seriously? I'm still trying to complete THIS YEARS resolution! Geez! Plus I still have another 3 1/2 weeks! Curious now, I asked him if he had one. Of course he said yes. (This ought to be good.) He says "I'm going to work and earn $5 each month and donate it." WHAT?! Oh my, sometimes they do render me speechless! Is he really only 12?!
I posted this photo recently...it's pretty, but maybe there's something missing...
And then I had a conversation with a fellow church member with "ideas". He calls me "cheesehead", which makes me laugh. I pray for him because he's a Steeler's fan. ;) All that matters "to me" is the score of Super Bowl XLV! Anyway, after our bantering, we get down to chatting about "how" to mass market certain photos. We're working on a project and we will see what happens. But taking that picture, I added something...
Quite a difference. We'll see what comes of it. I am going to matte/frame it either way. :)
Has anyone else wondered WHERE the heck November went?! Granted we're only 3 weeks in, but THANKSGIVING is in 2 days! Which means it will be Christmas in 30+ days. Oh my! I have to say though, that I am about done with everything! I have a few uploads to do yet, but I am so far ahead compared to last year! And so thankful. We had a beautiful Thanksgiving Community church service the other night and I've been packing food boxes...which my boys helped deliver tonight. I am so thankful and so proud of how far we (and they) have come.
We celebrated yesterday...well, we celebrated all weekend. Starting Saturday morning with a local Hero's breakfast, followed by the parade Saturday night. The kids volunteered with me as part of Habitat to serve during the breakfast. Afterwards, we had to stop at the store for dog/cat food. Going in, there was a Veteran handing out poppies and he gave us 3. I don't typically carry cash, but happened to have some that day. Coming out of the store, we stopped and asked him if he took donations. He said always, so I gave him the cash I had. He also noticed our Habitat shirts and it turns out he was also at the Hero's breakfast. Walking away, Hunter told me he gave him his money too. I told him I was very proud of him for giving him his quarters...because he had shown me his Wisconsin quarter earlier in the day. He said "No, I gave him my dollar." They make me so proud.
The whole weekend was beautiful and daddy made plans to take his boys down the river after church. I think we need to start passing out tissues as everyone enters church from now on, because there wasn't a dry eye in that place by the time we left. We are so blessed to be a part of it. We were also blessed to hug each and every Veteran before leaving. It was awesome.
After packing their lunch, we set off. We dropped the kids and the boat and drove over to the pullout spot to leave the truck. All of an 8 minute drive, takes 3 hours on a boat. That still amazes me. Unfortunately, I had left my SD card in the computer, so all I have is a yucky cellphone picture. (Even though I have extras, I am buying more to keep several in my bag/purse while they are super cheap on black Friday!) But boy, what a great picture. One I will treasure along with daddy. I'm so glad they had such a wonderful day!
From the bridge as I was leaving. I was also given "orders" from a child to go get the ingredients of daddy's favorite pie...so that was my mission as they embarked on their mission! :)
That my kids don't always co-operate with me! All I needed was 30 minutes, start to finish, including the drive, to get the couple shots I needed. His comment was "just use last years picture"...right, that works.
I think this picture is hilarious...and may just use it on our Christmas cards! Ha! I also noticed his "hair horns"...that 'plains everything!
Fall break was last Thursday/Friday. Me, being the "evil" mom, forgot to make dentist appointments that were long overdue, so they only had early appointments. Muhahaha...7:30am...20 miles from here = the little darlings are NOT happy to be getting up early on their day off! Not my problem. Actually once they were up and moving, they were fine. And it could have been worse, there were quite a few kids already there, so that means they have even EARLIER appointments! Mental note taken! :)
We took the backroads home...after I took the little darlings to the grocery store with me...geez, what a big mistake! I hate wasting a trip to town though without doing several things, so I was sorta screwed. They got donuts out of me. ;) Anyway, as we're cutting cross country, we passed several cotton fields that had been picked. Continuing on, one of them noticed a huge lake in the distance...a lake I never know was there. And you could see it moving with the wind. So we took a detour.
Turns out it was a "lake of cotton"!
We had to find a place to turn around and found this gem.
What a great couple hours boys...something I'll treasure!
After such a hot, dry summer, I really didn't expect to have too much color once fall arrived. Boy was I wrong. I took a drive on 2 different days before our weather changed and the wind blew the leaves off...and boy am I glad I did.
Probably one of my favorites!
I know 3 boys that are missing this lake! Come on spring! ;)
So lovely...I'm seeing several of these blown up and hanging on my wall!
to my baby...errr....big kid. Where oh where have the last 12 years gone?! It makes me want to cry, but I see glimpses of the man he's going to become and it warms my heart...and still makes me want to cry.
I finally got a good shot of these monster eyelashes! I know many that would KILL for eyelashes that long! And I wonder why I have such a hard time getting a good shot of his pretty eyes!
Day 2 started much the same as day 1...except that I woke up every hour on the hour until I finally got up way too early! :) And punk #1 wanted to come with me. I warned him it would probably be 4am...after he had competition the night before, he said he wanted to come help. Day 1 was really long...after working up at church for umpteen hours, I went and worked a booth for 6 hours...in bed (and sore), by 8pm, I wanted day 2 to be just as awesome as day 1...and it was.
It was a chilly walk for him...I was comfy in my capri's and sandals! ;)
He was even an apprentice under Bob, "the eggman" for a while! This picture just makes me smile!
Meanwhile, punk #2 snagged a booth job for a while selling kettle corn...as he checks out the competition!
It was still early on Sunday morning!
Amazing Grace never sounded so amazing!
How many churches have you seen the 10 Commandments prominently displayed on the front of their building?!
Great crowd! I love how we all stood out in our shirts!
It was an AMAZING weekend. If you weren't "touched" or "blessed" by some part of it...you are in the wrong place!
I am just coming back to life. I spent a good part of yesterday vegging on the couch, even though the weather was amazing. I can't begin to tell you how much of a blessing this weekend was. It sure did start early though!
I really was cursing the fact that I am a bad sleeper when I woke up at 345am Saturday morning, knowing one of the guys was already up there starting breakfast. So I got in gear and walked on up to help. It sure beat laying there tossing and turning when I was doing God's work!
Once the sun started to come up, I did sneak out for a couple quick pictures.
My cooking buddy...finally cleaned up from our early morning!
It was still early and it's already busy!
But our free/clean bathrooms were popular all day long! No porta-potties here!
Blessings abound and amazing things are happening in this church!