23 November 2014

"Give us this day, our daily bread..."

"We are not owners." This has come to mean so much. None of it was ever ours to begin with, so trying to hang onto it for fear of another day is useless. Like trying to keep today's manna for the next day, it just turns to mold and maggots when we don't use it as it was intended. ALL of it is His. All we call "ours", from the money, to the education, to our homes, all the way to the universe we live in. We are allowed to borrow it and use it for the time being. When we are "all in" with Him we don't worry so much about what's next because we know He's got it. We don't measure our value in the things we own, or the clothes we wear, because our worth was never measured in an earthly way to begin with. His Love for us never changes, our value no more or less than another human. What matters is that we value each other the same, and use the *things* we are borrowing to radiate Him instead of storing up treasure that will eventually decay.

25 October 2014

MAC-ISA Invitational Master's Challenge

What a full, exciting day! This championship was held because the International Championship is going to be held in March of 2015, before our chapter would normally hold their regional championship (in April). So in order to send our champion to represent the Mid Atlantic Chapter, we had to hold a special event, invitation only, for the top ten climbers in the region. From what I understand, they took the scores from the last three years, averaged each climber's score, and invited the top ten scorers. These last three years were Drew's FIRST three as a competitor, and his overall scores were high enough EVERY year for him to be invited. 

Each championship starts with a very early morning gear check. Our entire family was up and at Algonkian park in Sterling at 6:30 am. It was COLD. We stayed in the car and watched Robin Hood for a good while. The first climber began at 8, and Drew was #8! After sitting all morning and part of the afternoon watching other people climb, and each one time out, I was getting tired of it, and also a little nervous that Drew would time out too! These are VERY good climbers, timing out on this master's challenge! 

I don't know why I worried. Drew was the first climber to finish the climb without timing out!!! I was SO proud. I wouldve had more great photos if I hadn't been trying to video at the same time. My long lens and no tripod made my video disappointing. I did get a few good stills while the video mode was still going, though, just not as great as I would've liked.

Certified Arborist & CTSP, True Timber - representing RVA!

during his climb

intensely pulling his lines out

receiving his award

Champions, in order of score

One thing you must notice about this ;) is that there is a greater score gap between Drew and Tom, than between James (long standing champion) and Drew! Also, Jocelyn's score was AMAZING, they scored her as a guy this year!

Friends and Champions!

21 October 2014

"baby" brother

My youngest brother is going to graduate soon! My mom asked me to take a few photos for his senior portraits, and although I suffer no delusions about my lack of skill, they seem to have fairly low standards and were VERY happy with them. Me, well I just enjoyed a fun afternoon (sans kids, thanks Mom!) out by the river spending time with my "little" (over 6 foot) brother, showing him the beauty of RVA, and getting to use my fun new toy! :) Man, I remember with this dude was born. Love him lots!!!

Lewis Ginter

One day when going to shop at Ellwood Thompsons, it happened to be one of the days they donate part of their profits to a community business. That business was the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and they gave me two free guest passes. I kept putting it off, but I had to go before October 31 or they would expire! I have two sweet friends now that I enjoy  playdates with frequently, and I got us all together and we enjoyed a beautiful morning at the gardens!

Janiel reading to the girls at the "tea party table".

Cadence & Thayer sharing a tea party

sweet girls

the most beautiful butterfly I've ever seen.

and fly she does!

08 October 2014

Thayer August is 18 months old!!!

My big super-dude is eighteen months!! This is the age his sister was when she became a big sister! Although the first 18 mo of his life was pretty tough for me, I'm happy they're close in age! They're best friends. It is such a miracle to me, watching them play together and see him learn from her.

I think this age is one of the best! Well, obviously whatever stage your child is in is amazing to watch, but now that the hard part of learning to be a mom of two is mostly over and I can actually get myself together most days, it is incredible to hear Thayer's vocabulary grow by a few words almost daily! Those little minds, they astonish me regularly. Something about witnessing a toddler learn to talk is absolutely mind-blowing to me. 

So here is a list of *newER* words, some he's been saying a while now but it's been a while since I made a word list. There may be some overlap, since I'm. It checking which ones I typed up before. I'll just try to avoid the ones he's said the longest!

All done
Arden (pronounced Ahn-ae?)
Big boy
Bless! (When someone sneezes)
Bother-you (when "bugs" fly in his "eyes")
Bubby (for himself)
Flip-flop (wop-wop)
Night night

Thayer's 18 month stats:
Height: 35" - 97th percentile
Weight: 30.5 lbs - 92nd percentile

05 October 2014


Been thinking about these sweet people we got to make this memory with, and I wanted to share this sweet memory in my "journal"...

Our family wanted to go camping this fall before it got too cold, so we chose a weekend and Daniel and Liz were available to go with us for a night! I didn't take as many photos of our adventures as I wanted to, but it was such a good time. Spending time in nature is always beautiful, and doing it with friends is always more fun!

Saturday's breakfast was supposed to be hash browns and biscuits and gravy--and I had forgotten the salt and pepper!! Since neither of those would taste good at all without it, Drew and Daniel drove to the store to buy some and make our breakfast edible :)
stirring gravy/drinking coffee/eating banana bread

my beautiful friend liz (Daniel took this with one of his nice lenses)

self-timed camping group photo!

sleeping bubs after our friends left

washing dishes for mama

ginger soda!


helping daddy split wood 

first s'mores ever!

Arden's first s'mores too!

smoky chilly morning snuggles

breakfast burrito with Daddy

could she be any more beautiful? (i think no)

my BOY and his truck. and some rocks. and dirt.

29 September 2014


Always thought this would be fun. I had no idea. This sweet beauty had so much fun in this dress. Even though it's always fun when daughter wears mama's dress to get married, I want her to choose HER style, and what SHE finds makes her feel lovely. If that's this one, fine. If not, great! But enough of that, she's three. And she can stay little as long as she likes. Or longer. <3