Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Watching Soccer is Different with Ben!

Caleb has been playing indoor soccer again. A couple of Sunday's ago, Ben and I went to watch him play. This was the first time that I had watched a game since Ben has been mobile.

I realized that I get into a trance when I watch a game. You know, the type of trance that men get into when they are watching football or something on tv. I was so lost in my trance, that I lost my son!

One minute, I was watching him run around. The next minute, he was gone. I freaked! After about 5 secconds which felt like an hour, I saw Ben standing in awe at the giant gunball machine in the corner.

Phew! That was a close one!

Monday, October 26, 2009


The strangest thing happened this past week. Ben has started calling me "Honey". What is so funny, is that he only calls me that when I am walking away or he is at a distance. If I ask him who I am, he says "Mommy". But when he is in another room, out comes "Honey. Honeeeey. Huhneey" when he wants me.

Yes, Caleb does call me that. But, not all the time! Which makes it even funnier. We aren't sure where or why he picked it up.

I am not so sure how I feel about this. Sometimes it freaks me out. I'm pretty sure this is just one more way that Ben is trying to be as much like his father as possible.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Welcome Michael James!

Our friends, Jon & Katie, are new parents! Little Michael James was born Saturday October 3rd around 2:45 pm. He weighed in at 8lbs lloz and was 21 inches long.
I got to meet him AND hold him last week. He is so precious and slept in my arms the whole time I visited with Katie. Then, tonight, they were in the area, so Caleb was able to meet him, too!
Can you tell I want another....but have to wait!
Congrats, friends! You are such awesome parents already....and we are so happy we could meet your little man.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I knew this would happen...

It's official. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I have seriously slacked off with this blog. Not that it is ANY excuse, but I find myself so excited to be so involved in so many different things. My time at the computer is limited and my time behind the camera is even more limited. But, here's a recap:

October has been a BUSY month. It all started with the first week-end, when we took a trip to Baltimore to visit with MeeMom and PopPop. Ben was able to look at their pictures during the car ride North and was able to "talk" to them on the phone as we drove. He warmed up to them nicely and it was a WONDERFUL visit all around. MeeMom and PopPop even took him to the library which has an AMAZING play center for free! Check out the pictures below:

While we were in Baltimore, our Small Group had a big yard sale and sold all of our things (or donated them to Goodwill). They picked on us by saying that we owe them BIG time for all they did that week-end. But, we know they love us!

You've seen pictures from the second week-end in October. That is when we visited with our Memphis friends, went camping over-night and saw Beach Grammy & Beach Grandpa. What a fun way to bring in the October Halloween fun.

Last week-end, we drove to York, PA to visit with Caleb's grandparents. We had such a wonderful time. I LOVE every opportunity that Ben gets to spend quality time with his great grandparents. Here are some pictures from that trip:

Then....after all that craziness, Caleb worked the State Fair all this past week. All week, Caleb worked 6:30am-10pm. Yesterday was a 6:30am to midnight day....and today he works 12pm-12am. Caleb has only seen Ben a total of 2 1/2 hours since Tuesday.
Then, to make things crazier, our small group threw a BBQ plate fundraiser event yesterday. Poor Ben was shuffled everywhere yesterday either assembling plates or delivering orders. But, the craziness is coming to a close....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Visit to Beach Grammy & Beach Grandpa!

This past Sunday, we were able to visit with Beach Grammy & Beach Grandpa in Wilmington. Beach Grammy had all the fixings for a fun Halloween afternoon. Ben was able to color pumpkins in a GIANT coloring book, eat cupcakes (pronounced "up-tates") and even help carve his first pumpkin! We had so much fun....not to mention I was able to quiz my brothers about my Fantasy Football team. AND...to top it all off, the Panthers pulled out a win this week-end. I absolutely LOVE the fall...especially when you get to spend it with family. Beach Grammy & Beach Grandpa, we hope to see you again really soon! Enjoy all the pictures:

Hope you are all having a Happy Fall!

First Camping Trip!

We took our first camping trip together as a family this past week-end. I am not sure if you can really call it a camping "trip". We drove about 30 minutes away to Jordan Lake, set up camp by 6pm, played in the sand by the lake, sat around the camp fire, slept in a tent under the stars, ate breakfast around a campfire, then left the park by 8am Saturday morning to get home!
Ben and I had been looking at pictures of tents, smores, bears, raccoons, fires, etc in preparation for the big event. So, no matter what you call it, let's just say it was a learning experience.
The weather was great....in the high 70's. Here's a picture of Ben in the tent with all his "friends":We set up our chairs around the fire pit:
Setting up the tent:
It did not rain while we were camping....thank goodness! We forgot the rain tarp thingey, so we improvised:

Beautiful views:

Just relaxing (once I put on the "good" bug spray):

Ben's silly outfit to sleep in. I brought hand-me-down shoes that light up when you walk in them. I thought I was a genius, because when the sun went down, we could always tell where Ben was running:
Not SO genius. Now, he does not want to wear any shoes except the ones with lights.
All in all, we had a wonderful time. Caleb and I did not kill each other while we were there. Ben slept the whole night (but was up at the crack of dawn). Ben went to bed around 8:30ish, so Caleb and I enjoyed our time around the fire. Looks like we may try this again....only this time, we want to go with friends!

Pancake Pajama Party!

Ben hosted his first Pancake Pajama Party. Our friends Maddie & Kelli were in town. It is always a party when they are in town from Memphis....but we thought this would be a fun way to catch up. We had purple, pink & yellow pancakes, fruit salad, juice for the kiddos & coffee for the moms! Fun times! Maddie was SUCH a good eater! Kelli says she is going through a growing spurt!

Ben loves having friends over to play!
Maddie with her mom Kelli

Come back and see us soon! Everytime we see you, we get more and more excited about you moving back to RALEIGH!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Baltimore PNG Social

We had a wonderful week-end for our PNG Social in Baltimore. My mom was a little disappointed that more people did not show up, but I was excited to catch up with old high school friends, family and friends, middle school teachers (crazy!) and even new friends that we met during our June training.

We were very happy with our "tables" and can't wait to use all the material again!

Let me know if you want to know about Ben's Parrots!

Bible Translation Information:
PNG pictures and such:
Our All About Us table: complete with my scrapbooks...
My "Aunts"
(My mom, Aunt Marie, Aunt Cindy & Aunt Debbie)
These ladies are my mom's friends since high school. They have known me before I was born!
My "real" Aunt Jean & Mom
High School Friends- Rindi, Ryan, Ry-Ry & Nico
(Caleb and Ryan are into all the same "toys"- guns, motorcycles, cars, etc. Good Times!)
My high school friend Elise and her beautiful children! We played soccer and volleyball together. Brought back SO many memories. I also found out that Elise's older sister is moving to El Salvador with a different mission organization. It was so good to catch up!
All the kids!

And....the blog post would not be complete without a picture of Ben!

Laslty, we were touched by our friends who drove almost 2 hours to visit with us.

Again, we had a wonderful time. Thank you to everyone who was able to be there.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Missionary Mentality...borrowed from a new friend.

One of our new friends is now living in Tanzania. Please check out Crystals blog. She recently wrote about the Missionary Mentality. Her post really makes sense of some things I have been thinking about lately....reading it will help you see where I am currently...

"Recently, one of my parents (of my kids at school) was explaining to a Tanzanian woman what people often think when they hear she’s a “missionary” in Tanzania. She said they ask, “Do you rescue orphans from under the stampeding hooves of zebras in the Serengeti?!” We laughed, but the overall perspective is not that far from the truth. Somehow, the fact that someone is a “missionary” automatically means that they can perform amazing feats, that mundane normality is non-existent, and that they rise at the crack of dawn to face the 10 impending adventures that the day ahead holds.

I hate to burst your lovely fantasy world, but it’s just not true. The parent I mentioned above stated: “for me, being a missionary means being a mom, being involved in their school stuff, and having to do a lot of administrative paperwork.” Now, this amazing woman works with her husband as the head of YoungLife for all of Africa. If anyone should have an adventurous, exciting life, it’s her! Right? Don’t get me wrong, she gets to see amazing things happen as God works through and in her life, and in the lives of her kids, and all those she meets. But the fact is, normal life is every day and boring, no matter what city or what planet you reside on. It might take a bit longer, or look a bit different. But the habits you form in one place tend to carry over into another, and the things (like grading homework, or trying to figure out what to fix for dinner) that we don’t necessarily treasure in the States are definitely still alive and kicking here in Tanzania as well.

So what, exactly, am I doing here? It turns out that sometimes, the everyday, boring, mundane things can end up changing people’s lives. For example, another set of parents at our school works to translate the Bible into a group of languages in Tanzania. This means sitting down at lots of meetings with people who are familiar with English but fluent in their own language, driving hours to the location of these people (the family lives in Dar so their kids can attend HOPAC), trying to figure out the best way to translate “grace” into 5 different related languages, and cooking dinner for their 4 kids at the end of the day. It means solving issues in the family and encouraging their youngest to wear his shoes at school. And it means, in the end, that 5 different tribal groups will get to read the life-saving message of Jesus on the cross, who was later resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of God... in the language they understand best.

This is the kind of mundane work that I want to be involved in! It may not seem all that exciting in the meantime – and struggles are just the same as anywhere else in the world. But it seems we have a choice in what our mundane work profits. And I’m thankful that I get to spend my every day, boring life helping to sow into an eternal perspective of others each day. "

Thanks, Crystal, I could not have said it better myself!


We started practicing on the ground: Then, Ben graduated to the stairs!

Fun times!