Friday, April 29, 2016

March Madness

     March is a birthday month for us.  Due to Kaley breaking her ankle, our normal family ski vacation was pushed back from February into March.  Our church also scheduled revival the week we would return.  Plus, Easter landed near the end of the month.  Thus the title, March Madness, appears.  We jumped from one activity to the next!  Although it was busy, it was quite possibly the best month of our year yet!  Around every corner was excitement!
     Marianna hit the double digits!  We held a joint party for her & our little cousin turning 2 at my family's cabin on the river.  I will have to say the guys in our family sure know how to grill the best I've ever eaten, EE bakes the most delicious & beautiful cakes, & Meme always works her magic wherever she's involved!

      We split up family vacation this year.  We took the 3 toddlers to the great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  They had never been that they could actually remember.  Although it seemed heart wrenching to watch the older ones drive north to West Virginia, it really worked out best for everyone!  Each age group was catered to.  Our oldest 2 had a blast eating in fancy restaurants, staying & traveling with Papa & Meme that bend over backwards to do exactly what they want to do, skiing all day & into the night, & even taking them cave exploring & other fun pit stops.  Fun for our youngest 3 never slowed down!  We broke up the trip there & back to stay at their favorite Uncle Andrew's in Blue Ridge.  In Tennessee, they were in awe of the fun things to choose from.  We spent all day every day letting them pick activities.  They never had to stand on the side lines watching the others do something they were too small for.  It was great!  We enjoyed Cades Cove, Wonder Works, Dixie Stampede, The Cherokee Indian Museum, & many other rides & activities.  When we were at the cabin they lived in the heated pool, jacuzzi, & hot tub!  All of us made amazing memories that we will never forget!
     Immediately upon our return, our church began revival.  So many things were accomplished that I cannot tell it all.  We are back home at Aimwell.  That is where our hearts are.  We would have never left without the Lord's leading.  He knows best.  Last year was difficult & Nathan could have never pastored under the situation that we faced.  God is our helper & our strength.  He has led us through!  No, the situation hasn't changed, but by His help we continue onward.  He has never forsaken us nor led us astray.  He has given us new grace & strength to move forward.  It has been a great eye opener & learning experience.  Our church members say we pastor differently, not that our job before was flawed but with a new, stronger vision & with greater wisdom & compassion.  God knew just what we needed.  He has once again turned a stumbling block into a stepping stone.  Only He can do that!
     Clay turned 5 on Easter weekend.  He requested a gory shark birthday cake & EE delivered in such a cute way.  He was thrilled!  We all celebrated with him with a feast at the cabin.  The kids played hard & had tons of fun.  At his age, watching him rip into his presents is so full of excitement!  I was so blessed to see him share them all so sweetly.  Graham enjoyed riding on his new battery operated 4-wheeler & playing with his new toys too!  Clay is a rough & tumbly boy with a huge heart.  He goes at everything with full force, even his preschool work.  I have been honored to watch this year how he naturally protects & defends others.  He will stand firm on what he believes is right.  He is happy helper, works so hard yet anxious to share.  Raising boys is certainly different for this mama but very rewarding.
     Easter morning followed.  We were waken to happy squeals as the children woke up to their Easter surprises.  The whole month & proceeding day was so eventful that they seemed to forget about their baskets of gifts!  Church seemed to be buzzing with excitement as everyone came dressed in their best to praise our risen Savior.  We spent the rest of the day at my parents enjoying another feast, opening more gifts, & decorating eggs.
     Relaxing together was just what we needed!  We decided that the fast pace of March accompanied by the beginning of hot south GA weather warranted a day trip to the beach April 1st!