Friday, October 28, 2011

meeting sara and helping IJM

Last week I had the wonderful privilege to go to a concert.. It was a big day for me. No, not for meeting the singer/songwriter whose music I love, but for actually going. Away. Passed bedtime. In all my years as a mom I have never missed a bedtime. I know, my kids are 8 and 6 years old, it's crazy. But it was time. So here's what happened. My friend Theresa, who has a wonderfully generous husband, purchased 2 tickets for her to not only go see Sara Groves in concert but to also eat dinner with her and her family, as well as the other artists that were going to be performing with her. Now, I don't know anyone who loves Sara Groves' music more than Theresa so I knew it was an awesome gift. Then....she invited me to go with her! Me. The one who has never missed a bedtime. The one who loves Sara Groves music too but lacks the nerve or the want to be out...away. It was something that I could have happily lived without, but I knew that I would really enjoy it and have fun going on a road trip with my friend, sans our total of 7 children. So I went. Tim was with our girls so my mind was at ease. They all survived dinner and bedtime without me and I without them. Of course I called when we arrived at our destination and during the intermission of the concert...which was right at bedtime, so I did get to say goodnight.
But oh, the concert was so great. From her songs, her lyrics, I figured Sara to be normal and down to earth. So many of her lyrics sound as if she spent a week with me, like she was living my life. And you know what? She is normal, and nice, and funny, and relaxed. Her children were funny and polite and adorable. Her husband was wonderful to meet and had a nice dry sense of humor which I have grown to appreciate of the years because of Tim's sense of humor. The other artists were also so laid back and normal. They were gracious with their time and stories. The concert was wonderful. We had front row seats. It was more like a time of praise and worship than a concert. The other artists were Audrey Assad and Jenny&Tyler. Both amazing singers and songwriters. They were all oozing with talent.
The concert itself was a benefit to raise money for the local pregnancy center and IJM, the International Justice Mission. Read more about IJM here.
All in all, I had a great time. Time spent with a friend, time having fun, time enjoying some really, really good music. Oh, I wish I had some talent in that area. Well, maybe my children will some day. Now, go listen to some great music. xoANG

Friday, October 21, 2011

mawwage is what bwings us togwether today

Today is my anniversary.
Seventeen years.
That's almost half of my life.
The time has flown.

God's chosen one for me, wonderful father, best friend, funny, loving, understanding, playful, hard worker, provider, encouraging, skillful, intelligent, thoughtful, leader, loyal, supportive, oh we can't forget handsome.

Yep, that's 17 things. The list goes on and on but I don't want to gag you with all the lovey-dovey mushy stuff that makes him so great. I am blessed beyond measure to be married to Tim. And seriously, the 24 year old Tim in that picture is pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 7, 2011

natural, just the way we like it

Another day trip we ventured to take while on our staycation carried us down many a winding road, up and over mountains, and across a couple of beautiful rivers. We visited Natural Bridge, Virginia. We have taken the kids to the Natural Bridge Zoo a few times over the past 5 years, but since we just went to the mother of all zoos (on the east coast, at least) we opted out of that one. We did, however, enjoy all of the other attractions at Natural Bridge. We got a crazy-good deal on the tickets because they were collecting food for a local food bank. So if we donated a can of food per person, we could get the combo ticket for a whopping $2.00!!! Two dollars, people, two dollars...instead of $28 for adults and $16 for children. Our total could have been $88 for the four of us, but instead we paid only $8! woot!woot! Now that's a great deal and totally worth every last cent. We started off in the Natural Bridge Cavern. The girls had never been in a cavern before so they were super excited. It's a small cavern but fascinating and amazing and slippery and cold. It was great! Our guide was funny and very sweet. She shared a lot of interesting facts and pointed out some very cool formations. She even found a couple of sleeping bats for us to see...from a distance. We then headed to the actual bridge. Can I just say that the bridge is so grand and beautiful. It's stunning to see it up close and to see George Washington's initials carved in the stone when he surveyed the area. Oh yeah, the homeschool juices were flowing, baby.
The weather, once again, was slightly overcast and in the low 70's...perfect for some trail hiking and outdoor fun. Once we soaked up the awesomeness of the bridge we headed down the Cedar Creek Trail to the Monacan Indian Village where the girls got to try their hand at grinding corn.
We also got to see inside a tepee, really more of a thatched hut, feel different animal skins, see someone making rope, and of course, more grinding of the corn. All of this was beside a beautiful creek that beckoned us to it's edge on more than one occasion as we made our way down the trail further into the woods. While at Natural Bridge we also enjoyed the indoor butterfly garden. I have never seen so many butterflies before in all my life. The girls really enjoyed being able to hold the butterflies and see some hatch right out of their cocoons. We also made our way through the toy museum. I must add here that a toy museum with lots and lots of toys out in the open with one grumpy woman reminding everyone not to touch anything was a little less than great. The toys were neat and my girls don't have a problem keeping their hands to themselves, but I suppose that normally isn't the case. We then went over to the wax museum. I had never been to the wax museum and neither had the girls. It was interesting to see so many different people made of wax. I probably wouldn't go back to the wax museum...there's just something a little creepy about the whole thing, but it was worth going. Overall, we had a great time.
Our favorite parts were probably the actual Natural Bridge and the Cedar Creek Trail. We had perfect weather and enjoyed our time together as a family. And after a nice long day of having fun together and having their picture taken a hundred times this is what you end up with. xo ANG