Friday, June 27, 2008

FX-Family Experience

For the last two nights we have attended FX-Family Experience at our church. Can I just say our church, Carmel Baptist, went ABOVE AND BEYOND!!!! I have never seen a family vacation Bible school like it before! FX actually was for 4 days, but the first 2 nights were for the older kids and Thursday and Friday nights were for the younger kiddies. I can't say what all took place on the first couple of days (because we weren't there), but if it was anything like what we experienced, it was awesome.
On Thursday, we started off having a time of worship with fun songs, dancers, and a band. Then we were divided into three groups-probably 100-120 people in each group (kids, parents, and siblings). We went to three different stations. The first place we went to was Family Bible Charades. They had it set up like a tv game show, with cues for the audience to applaude and everything. There was a host of the show and 9 families from our group volunteered to play. It was fun to watch little kids and their parents act out Bible stories without saying anything.

We then went to Bible Scavenger Hunt. We had a list of things we had to find in the Bible and a list of things to find in the local newspaper. We then had to look up a bunch of verses that all had "food" words in the verse. Those were our ingredients for our snack that we had to go make. It was apples, honey, cream, and nuts. Boy, was it tasty!!!

Our last station was Jewish School. We sat on mats and we learned about the word "Shalom"-it means "peace", what school would have been like for Jesus, and about the Hebrew alphabet. We wrote on scrolls and practiced writing from the right to left (how Hebrew is written).

Tonight was the Bible Time Marketplace. The church gym was set up like an actual marketplace you might have seen in Bible times. There were 25 booths and an activity to do at each. You could make clay pots, make a broom, make jewelry, eat fruits, veggies, and bread, get a tunic and make your own sandals, play instruments, paint wood fish, weave placemats, make money pouches, etc. It was unbelievable all the fun stuff you could do. THEN, you could go outside where there were more booths set up. You could knead bread dough, make butter, make grape juice, eat fish sticks, carry buckets of water on your head, make crafts, and there was a petting zoo!!! They had a real camel, donkey and goats!!!! It was so cool!!! They also had a story time at "the mountain". They told the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and passed out goldfish and bread.

It was so much fun to learn about Jesus and Bible times with Halle. Thankfully, we could enjoy it without worrying about Parker-they had childcare!!! We hopefully will take some things we learned and apply them at home. It was a great reminder that I have to get on top of things when it comes to having family Bible study times at home. Although Halle learns lots of great stuff at church, it is my responsibility as a parent to really teach her the Bible and what the Lord expects of her.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Michigan Trip

Well, it's been a while since I have written, but we have been so busy having lots of fun visiting family in Michigan that I haven't had enough time to sit down and write on my blog. We have made it back from MI and life is getting back to normal so I am back to writing!!! YEA!!!!
I thought that since we had so much fun in MI, I would reflect on all the cool things we did while we were there. We stayed at my in-laws this time. They have a beautiful house with a pool, big barn with 2 horses and a pony, and lots of land that backs up to a beautiful lake. The first few days we were there, the weather was nice and warm. We spent the days in the pool swimming with cousins. We also spent time playing with side walk chalk, jump ropes, and riding bikes. We grilled out a bunch and did a lot of work around the house and yard.
Me and Parker swimming Westin and Corey- some cousins

Halle and Bailey=Best Friends and cousins!!! They were inseparable the entire time we were there.One of the main reasons we went up to MI at this time was because my brother-in-law, Todd, graduated from high school and we wanted to make it to his "Open House". Many people, especially those that live down here in NC, don't know what an open house is. An open house is pretty much a big celebration party that the parents of the graduate hold, usually outside at their home. You invite everyone you know, have food of some sort, and people come during a specified time period to congratulate the grad and eat. It's super nice to see everyone you might not have seen in a long time, but the real reason to have one is to get money!!! Everyone that comes usually brings a card filled with money!!! I'm sure most parents spend WAY more hosting the huge party than what the graduate gets in cards, but it still super nice. The DeLanges did something a little different this year from most other people. They had Todd's open house in the evening and only had ice cream. They actually had an ice cream trailer come and park in their driveway and serve 15 different kinds of hard serve ice cream, floats, and sundaes. The company made their own waffle cones right there and boy did it smell wonderful!!! The Lord was good because it was supposed to storm that evening, but the sun ended up coming out and the clouds cleared. It was a beautiful night! Todd had a great turn out and we got to chat with a lot of old friends. Here's a few pics of that night!!

The graduate- Toddster!!!

The Ice Cream trailer!

I worked on quite a few pages of that scrapbook.

My sister-in-law, Jessica, and me. We will be doing this all again next year for her!!

The kids made a bunch of colorful signs on the driveway with side-walk chalk!

We also went riding on the horses. Halle loves to ride and actually got Oreo (the horse) to walk and trot all by herself. Usually, Brad leads the horse around the arena, but Halle did it all alone this year. Parker also went riding for the first time!! He absolutely LOVED the horses and kept pointing at the barn to go out and see them. He couldn't get enough of them.
We made it down to the lake a couple times. We went out on the paddle boat and I actually fell asleep while on it because it was so relaxing. Halle paddled and steered the boat all by herself. One time we piled everyone-8 of us- into the truck and went down to the lake (you have to drive there because they don't have a clear pathway through the woods). My parents were actually over at the time and went along too. Halle, Brad, my brother, and I all had to sit in the bed of the truck on the way there and back because our parents filled up the seats inside the truck. After being there for about 5 minutes, it started to storm. My parents were out on the paddle boat with Halle and my brother was fishing off the shore. We all scurried to get everything back in the truck and trailer, but on the way home, it started hailing and we were all in the back of the truck getting pelted with hail and rain. What a memory!!!

We had LOTS and LOTS of fun in Michigan and we really didn't want to leave. We miss all our family so much. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day to my dad and my father-in-law!!! They truely are the BEST dads in the world. We were reminded today of the wisdom our father's give us and how it is so much more valuable than gold or precious rubies (Proverbs 4). I can't even begin to describe all the great advice and godly wisdom we have been given over the years from our dads. We love them so much and appreciate all they do for us.
This is my dad, Dave Franklin, holding Parker.

This is my mother-in-law and father-in-law!!! Ed and Micky DeLange

I also have to say Happy Dad's Day to my wonderful husband, Brad. He is such a great dad!!! He loves our kids unconditionally, wants to spend all his free time with them, and makes our family the top priority in his life (after God). He shows such patience to both them and me. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father to my kids!!! I love you Brad!!!

My husband, Brad

Today, we spent the morning with the DeLanges. We had pancakes for breakfast and then had our family church service down at Grandpa and Grandma Park's house. We then headed off to my parent's house for lunch. My grandparents, Aunt Terry, and Uncle Wes, Aunt Mel, and Rachel all came over too. My Uncle Wes and family are missionaries to the Dominican Republic and they are here visiting for the summer. It was nice to visit with them as I haven't seen them in a few years. In the afternoon, we all went outside and played with sidewalk chalk. We all laid downed on the ground and Halle traced the outline of our bodies and then we colored them in.

Here's Uncle Andy drawing while Halle watched
This was Allyson's
This was my mom's

This was Halle's

This was mine!

Friday, June 13, 2008

We Made It!!

Yesterday I did something I wasn't sure I was capable of doing. It was my D-day!!! Driving Day, that is. After spending many hours packing myself, Halle, and Parker, plus a bunch of random things you can take when you are driving to your destination, we loaded up the trunk of our car, plus the front passenger seat, and took off.
This wasn't even all we took. Add a cooler, another duffel bag, a stroller, a pillow, and a few small items and that was all we took!!!We left at 7 am (I wanted to leave at 6:30) and drove, drove, drove. My goal was to get there as fast I could, and boy did I!! Our trip was so uneventful, it was wonderful. We didn't hit any traffic, storms, construction back-ups, nothing!!! And Halle and Parker were WONDERFUL!! I could tell that a lot of people must have been praying for us!! We only stopped twice, which is amazing considering I had two little kids with me. They slept, played, listened to music, and tried to watch dvds, but our laptop didn't want to cooperate. We made it into our hometown 12 hours later. When we hit the "Welcome to Michigan" sign, I yelled out a "yipee"!!! Unfortunately, we still had a little over 100 miles to go, but it was nice to know we had made it.
This was the best map I could find. I left from Charlotte, NC, not Mrytle Beach, SC. That was about the same route we took though!!! All 754 miles of it!!!
We spent the first evening here with the DeLanges. They all wanted to hold and hug Parker, but he was quite hesitant to go to any of them, except Scott and Todd. He will only allow males (and me) to hold him for some reason.
This morning we took our time getting ready because it was raining and thundering and then we visited with Aunt Mindy and her kids- Chad, Corey, and Bailey. Halle and Bailey went off playing right away and we didn't hear from them the rest of the afternoon. They did get in the pool while the sun was shining though. Here are a few pics from the afternoon.

Halle and BaileyMe and Parker

After swimming, naps, and playing, we headed off to my parents house for the evening. We ate Subway for dinner, talked, and they played with Halle and Parker. Both Grandma and Papa even played Monkey in the Middle with them. It was quite a scream!! They bought both kids a bunch of stuff from their trip to Kauai-it's an island in Hawaii. Halle loved her hula outfit and my mom taught her how to hula. Parker looked adorable in his hawaiian outfit!!!

Shake those hips Hal!!!

My mom teaching Halle how to Hula Dance

Parker and Papa watching Halle and Grandma dance

Parker wasn't too thrilled about getting his picture taken, but boy did he look cute!!!

So, that was our first full day in Michigan. We are so thankful for all those who prayed for our safety and we can't wait to spend another 11 days here with our family!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

School's out-Sorry we missed it!

Today was the last day of school for Halle. Unfortunately, she didn't get to go because she is still trying to get better from having strep throat!!! The poor thing missed her very last day of kindergarten. I did take her up to school for a few minutes this morning though to say goodbye to everyone and gets some hugs from her teacher. Plus, we had to get all her "junk". It was sad to say goodbye to Endhaven Elementary. Halle is actually going to a brand new school next year-Ballantyne Elementary. It is being built right now and is supposed to be completed before school starts in the fall. So, we will no longer make our morning run to Endhaven. It's kind of sad!!!

I hosted the baby playgroup again today. Christy and Ava were the only ones to come, but it was super nice just chit-chatting with Christy and trying to stay cool in the pool. I forgot my camera, but Christy took some pictures of the kids swimming. I will have to get some copies and post them soon.

This is Christy and Ava!!!

Brad and Halle went out after dinner and blew bubbles and threw the ball. Parker just sat on the blanket and laughed at them. It was sweet. They didn't last too long out there though because out of the blue we heard thunder and saw huge flashes of lightning. So, that stopped their fun short.

I am getting excited to see all our family in just a couple of days. I can't believe we only have 1 more day here in Charlotte before we head out for our long journey northward.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Night of Fever

Last night, after writing my post, reading a few others, and watching a little tv, I went in to check on Halle, who was asleep in bed. (Remember-she had not been feeling well all afternoon) She was on fire!! I made her get up and take her temperature and it was 103.5!!! So, her temp was obviously going up! When she went to bed it was around 101 and she had Tylenol. I made her get in a cool bath and gave her more medicine. I set the alarm and got up again at 4am. Her temp was thankfully going down by then. It was 102. When she got up at 10:30 this morning, it was down to 100. She unfortunately missed school (she only has one more day left) and her temp was right at 99 all day. This afternoon, she started to complain about having a sore throat. I looked in her mouth with a flashlight and her throat was super red!!! So, needless to say, she was diagnosed with strep throat and put on medicine. Her temperature has not gone below 99, even with Tylenol. She will probably miss her very last day of kindergarten tomorrow, but I am hoping to take her up there for a few minutes anyways to say goodbye to everyone. We are giving Parker the medicine too just to be on the safe side. Hopefully, this is all cleared up by Thursday, when we head out for MI.

Tonight, I got to talk to an old friend, who I haven't talked to in forever and it was SO nice!! She was my best friend growing up. Everyone thought we were twins or sisters, even though she was one year older than me. We made a lot of good memories with each other. I will never forget our canoeing trip when we tipped over and had a million spiders in our canoe (we both are deathly afraid of spiders). It was horrible and yet it is one of my favorite memories of our friendship. I guess life just started to take us down separate paths and we kind of lost touch for a while. It's nice to catch up with her, even though we don't do it nearly as often as we should.
Cheneille Pagan, my friend

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Goals for the week

Well, what I thought was going to be an extremely busy day turned out to be not so bad afterall. We made it to church, I worked in the 3 year old class during the 11am service, we ate some lunch at home, I got Halle to the birthday party, and then everything stopped. We were supposed to go to our church's outdoor baptism and picnic and then we were possibly going to meet some friends at the "Pops in the Park" concert later tonight. Well, Halle came home from the party with a headache and went straight to her bed (very unlike her). I gave her some Tylenol and figured it was just from the heat of the day. Well, a little while later, she came out and was burning up. Sure enough, she had a fever of 101 degrees. I was debating whether to go to the picnic anyways because it was so hot today, and this made my decision a whole lot easier. So, we spent the afternoon lounging on the couch, watching the Disney channel. Her temperature actually went up a little while later to 102, so I made her take a cool shower. By dinner, she was feeling better, but still didn't move from the couch. Hopefully by morning this will have passed. It always seems like my family decides to get sick the week before we are leaving on a trip. At Christmas, all four of us (Parker, who was 4 months old at the time, actually was the one that started it all) got the stomach flu the week before we were going to MI.
I'm bummed we missed the outdoor baptism and picnic. Hopefully, we will make it next year. I'm also bummed that we missed the "Pops in the Park" tonight. "Pops in the Park" is an outdoor concert the Charlotte Symphony puts on every Sunday night. You bring your blankets, picnic dinner, etc. and sit and listen to the beautiful music. They only do it during the month of June and I will be gone the rest of this month. Oh well, I guess it's another thing that I will have to wait and do next year.

This is where the symphony plays!

Goals for the week ahead:

Watch Kallie on Monday/Wednesday

Host the baby playgroup again on Tuesday-back to the pool because it's going to be HOT!

Get the oil changed in the car

Vacuum out the car

Get laundry done and pack for Michigan

Get up early and begin the long 12 hour drive to MI on Thursday

Sign up Halle for the Summer Reading Program (through our library) on Wednesday

Get birthday presents to the designated recipients before I leave

Celebrate the official last day of school on Tuesday!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tonight I'm...

Tonight I'm:
Feeling: Refreshed- We did the unthinkable this afternoon. Halle, Parker and I all took a couple hour nap! It was so nice to snuggle with Halle on the couch in the air conditioning while Parker slept in his crib. I guess we were all worn out!!
Needing: To get things all ready for our trip to MI. I need to get the oil changed in the car, clothes packed, and everything here at home in order before I leave on Thursday.
Loving: Finding Nemo (the movie). It was on ABC this evening. We actually own the movie, but never watch it. It is such a sweet movie and the colors of the ocean are so beautiful. They did such a great job on the graphics!

Wondering: How I'm going to get everything done tomorrow! My schedule for tomorrow is: 9:30-12:30 Church, 1:30-3:00 Birthday Party for girl in Halle's class, 4:30-? Church picnic, 6:30-? Pops in the Park!! It seems everything is all happening on one day.

Dreaming About: Having our finances all worked out so we can buy a house! I don't know if it will happen this year, but I like to hope that it will.

Excited About: Seeing all my family in just a few days. I miss them all a lot!!

Remembering: Brad throwing Parker really high in the air when we were at the pool.