Gone Fishin’

April 2013

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Last weekend we went to the country! We were so excited to take a weekend to relax and spend time with family. I think Hayden needed it most of all…but Haley had the most fun. Hayden got a new air gun and was dying to try it out. No better place than the country to shoot guns, fish, and hunt turkey!

We prayed the whole way there for safe travel because it was raining so hard! Thankfully we made it safely and the rain kept any chance of turkey hunting obsolete so we got to relax most of the day.

Later in the afternoon, once naps were over and the weather had cleared, we went outside to fish while the boys went hunting. Hayden’s Mom is a master fisher-woman. She isn’t scared to bait a hook with a live cricket or take a fish off a line. The pond on their land is stock full of Bream and the kids were catching fish throw after throw and LOVING it!

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That night Haley prayed that they’d get to fish more tomorrow and that the fish would be biting. Her prayer was answered. Saturday was so much fun. EARLY in the morning I went hunting with Hayden and his Dad- insight on that experience at LouderGod.com. I told Hayden if we are planning to wake up before 5am, to leave me in bed! So, at 4:30am we all got up, got the camo gear on, made coffee, and headed to Kosciusko. On my blog post I wrote about how much I love hunting with Hayden…but didn’t mention my other hunting buddy. Hayden’s Dad is awesome to go with. His excitement is contaigious and he is so generous. He tries to put us in the best place to see what we are hunting, he always makes sure I am comfortable (gave me his stool to sit on this trip), and is so encouraging about my shooting abilities…which is pretty good, if I do say so myself! I love having that time with him, listening to his hunting stories on our way and hearing about how he lives out his Christian walk. He never brags about all the ways he helps people, but as we drive along, he’ll point out places where he helped someone. The difference in hearing a guy tell about helping someone and hearing his stories are that he is always more effected than them. You can tell that it’s his life that is changed when the Holy Spirit uses him…which is often. The main lesson here- when you are open and willing The Lord will provide all possible resources needed. Hayden frequently says if he grows up to be half the man his Dad is, he will count himself successful. I agree. The best news is that as parents, we do all we can to teach, inspire, and pray our children into being better people than us. Gary is no exception and I see evidence that Hayden

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is on that path. Life experience teaches us a lot about loving others, being patient with differences, and the importance of helping others to be their best. We still have a lot to learn, but I hope we pass these lessons on to our children- in word and deed- as we learn them and see them modeled in our parents. Makes me SO thankful for the passion and drive both sets of Grandparents have in serving others in the name of The Lord…what a legacy!

Even though we were tired, we focused the rest of the day on spending quality family time outside in the sunshine. Haley was “hooked” on fishing so we hung out at the pond. She was on cloud nine and Trey was in and out of interest. Even though fishing wasn’t his favorite activity, there were plenty of other things to keep his attention- sticks, rocks, dirt, ant hills. I sat on the dock watching the kids run along the edge of the pond and thought to myself, “CLICK!” I wanted to keep that picture in my mind. Getting all nostalgic about the simplicity of being out there prompted some conversation between me and Hayden about how we can put more of “that” in our life at home. We committed to more outside play time, more fishing, more concentrated family time, and trying to keep it simple. Week one of this has gone well! We’ve done some crafts, played games, rode bikes, worked in the garden and kept the TV off! It’s been awesome and I’m grateful for the perspective.

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Haley made badges for everyone so we could show our “best fisherman” pride! She was busy coloring and working on her badges for us for a good part of the weekend. So sweet.

Hayden’s dad had just gotten the patio under the new cover poured but he intentionally left a spot open for him to pour himself…when the grandkids were around so he could put their handprints in the patio. The kids LOVED that part!

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Easter!

Well, today is April 5, 2013.  I don’t think I added “keep up with our blog posts” to the New Year’s resolution list since we have only one post to show for 2013.  The saddest part, I actually have written several, just haven’t put the pictures to them and hit “POST”.  So, I am going to multi-post the past three months to catch us up and try to do better from here! 

Today the sun is shining and it feels SO good.  Haley learned about the Groundhog on Groundhog day this year and keeps asking me, “are you sure we don’t have six more weeks of winter??”  Looking at the upcoming forecast, I think Spring has arrived!  We are ready to be outside again and are already taking advantage of longer days.  More sunshine will be great for our garden too, which is doing great and we are anxiously awaiting harvest time! 

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Easter weekend was really fun and pretty laid back.  Friday night, my Mom kept the kids while I surprised Hayden with a surprise dinner date night out Downtown.  We ate at a great restaurant, Flight, then met up with Julie and Reed (the newly engaged couple!) for a walk on Main Street and a stop at the Madison to enjoy the sights of the Mississippi River and Memphis Bridge.  It was refreshing for us to get away and relax together…it had been a while and we need to remember to do that more often!  One thing I noticed and was glad to be reminded of- as I planned and prepared for our night out (reservations, a note, new dress, painted nails, etc) I got so excited and felt more in love with my husband.  It is true, LOVE is a verb, and as I was acting out in love, I noticed I was much happier and full of joy in my marriage.

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Saturday, Hayden went hunting and I joined the kids for an Easter Egg hunt in my Mom’s neighborhood.  We got pictures with the Easter bunny and got to play with Demarkis, too.  That afternoon, and all of Sunday was really restful and we just enjoyed being together.  The egg hunting resumed many times that night…training for Easter morning!

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Avery was mostly just interested in the candy.  She’ll eat through a wrapper to get it.  She would find an egg that was empty, open it, then bring it to me- saying, “OH NO! OH NO!”  Very aware something was wrong with that egg!

Sunday was a great day and the kids LOVED finding their Easter baskets.  We had a nice breakfast together- complete with Peeps on our straws!  After church we celebrated a day of rest.  That night my parents, Julie, and Reed came over for dinner and it was nice spending family time on a special day that the Lord had made.

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Trey got a new suit for Easter from Hayden’s mom.  When Trey saw it he yelled out, “Now I will look just like Daddy at church!”  That morning Hayden and Trey got ready together- getting coordinated ties, putting on each piece at the same time, etc.  It was beyond precious and I hope I keep that mental snapshot in my memory forever.

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While the kids and I were napping on Easter afternoon, Hayden took off to take advantage of down time and went hunting.  Day 2 of Turkey Season.  He killed his first Turkey!!!  It wasn’t as big as he would have liked, but he is thrilled!  Haley was telling everyone about it at dinner and said, “I am SO proud of my DAD!  I’ve been telling him to practice and it worked.”

My parents have always had an open home to anyone who needed family- on special days and on ordinary days.  Many of our friends over the years have adopted my parents as their own and I want this to be something that carries on in our home.  Julie’s friend, new Kathleen, was able to join us and help fill our home with more joy!

The highlight of the Easter meal was the making (and eating!) of the Resurrection Rolls.  Each person at the house took a marshmallow, rolled it in butter, then rolled it in cinnamon.  From there, we wrapped each marshmallow in a crescent roll.  (At least all that we could wrestle away from my Dad and the kids!)  When you bite into, or cut into, the roll, the marshmallow was gone!  Just like Jesus was no longer in the tomb.  I love applicable activities to do with the family that have lessons that point us to Jesus…especially ones that are so tasty!

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Every year I say, “I understand the importance of Easter even MORE this year.”  I am pleased that each year I gain more appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifice that was made for us and that we serve and love a God who is ALIVE!!  I hope this never changes and that I am always in AWE of the sacrifice that was made- by someone so pure and perfect, on behalf of little ole’ highly-imperfect ME.