Friday, February 27, 2009

Come and See!

We are having Come and See weekend right now for prospective seminary students. It's been fun seeing all the excited and sometimes bewildered faces and remembering how we felt last year during our visit to Sewanee. We were scheduled to come to Come and See last year, but we all had the flu so we had to cancel. I now know how people here must have felt, we are sponsoring a family and they're not here yet and I'm sad. I can't wait to talk to them, and show them around, and answer any questions they may have.
We ended up coming to visit a few weeks later and loved it from the moment we arrived. I've already met some people who know this is the place for them. Sewanee just has that way about it; it's welcoming and warm and beautiful, even if it is a dreary rainy winter day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Hope you all had a wonderful Fat Tuesday and that you lived it up as one should! We went to an annual pancake supper on the mountain which was like a taste of home. Our home parish always had a pancake dinner on Shrove Tuesday and I was worried we would have to make our own flapjacks to keep the tradition going, but apparently this is a big annual event for one of the local parishes. There were tons of people there and cheesy entertainment which the kids loved.

I left early to go to Group Spiritual Direction, a bi-monthly spouses' event. It's one of those things that you have to force yourself to go to because you have to get out of the warm house and drive yourslef there; but once I'm there, and at the end, I'm so glad I went. Of course, the topic last night was Lent, but typically there is a slightly different perspective. We talked about Lent as a pilgrimage. It was very enlightening, and it made me re-think Lent for myself this year from a time of giving something up to a time of letting things go. I'm hoping to keep a calm, stress-free perspective for the next 40 days.

We're attending Ash Wednesday services with the kids today at the big chapel on campus. *A*'s been asking a lot about Jesus dying lately. The seminary chapel has a large crucifix and she's been very curious about it since we came to Sewanee. Lately though with her being at that 4 year-old-always-questioning stage, she'll randomly ask me "Why did God die Mommy?", you know like while we're walking through Kroger. Then in the car yesterday, she told me "But Jesus came back, right?" So this Lent should be an interesting time. I'd love to hear any reader's perspectives on raising kids in the church and responses to these big questions...don't those little people just make life so much more interesting?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Super Kids!

We had the kids' yearly physicals today and those kids ROCK! They were both so good and listened, and took those finger pricks and shots like true champs. I was so proud! So we came home and snuggled under the covers (on a Monday morning!) and watched Wall-E, and Daddy stayed home too so it was extra-nice. We had a pretty hectic weekend as usual so having this morning to relax was wonderful!

Yesterday was my nephew's birthday party. It was at one of those jumpy places, but this was better because each party has their own ROOM of jumpy things. It wasn't nearly as chaotic or loud as the ones I've been to where all the kids from town are in one big room bumping into each other. *A* actually went down the huge slide and even little (H) warmed up to jumping. After the party, we went back to Gram and Papa's house to open gifts and eat dinner. It was very relaxing and good to catch up with the family.

On the way there though, we got sidetracked by a Whole Foods that literally took hold of our car and *made* us pull in the parking lot. We wandered the aisles with drool pooling around our feet and counted our blessings that we get to return to Atlanta (the land of good grocery stores) in a few years. Then we decided we needed a snack. This Whole Foods had the most extensive take-out section I've ever seen, and ^J^ left it to me to pick our snack while he went to look in the baking aisle. When he returned, I surprised him with my choice of sushi!!! I'm not usually a big fan of sushi, but it looked sooooo good, and since I can't have it right now without travelling an hour or so, it was exactly what I wanted. I got a roll with avacado and cucucumber and it was rolled just the way I like with the rice on the outside (I'm sure there is some fancy name for that, but I'm a sushi newbie). Totally yummy and refreshing! The dangerous part is that now I'm going to start craving sushi and I can't get it! :(
Hmmm. Maybe I can learn to make my own...ok now I'm on a mission. Happy Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Catching Up...Trains!

Last Saturday we went to a nearby town called Cowan which has this cute old train and a train museum. The museum is closed during the winter but we finally went and explored the train. Like most 2 year old boys, (H) is obsessed with trains and has been getting all kinds of train building sets for his birthday so we knew he'd love it. And he did, but the best part was that while we were there, 3 real trains came by! We counted cars, witnessed amazing graffiti, squished pennies (don't tell!), and covered our ears!

The town of Cowan is at the base of the mountain so when the trains leave here, they have to go either up or through the mountain we live on. We learned that they do both and that Cowan has the longest train tunnel in the world and that it has such a steep grade that pusher engines are required. We can't wait to go back and explore the museum in the Spring!The only problem is that now everytime we pass through Cowan on the way to the grocery store, (H) wants to get out and watch the trains. He cried today because he didn't get to see a train. It's so hard to be 2 and expect everything to happen the same way all the time! Here are some pictures (finally) of our adventure:

(H) liked these little cars the best, he was a little scared of getting up on the big train. I have no idea what they were used for , but they were just his size!

Exploring the Engine

Happy boy!

As you can see, our daredevil child had no problem climbing all over everything!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What a Day

It's been a doozy. I'm a little tired of the details but basically our car starting acting up today, with the help of generous friends, I took it in, learned it wasn't a big expense (spark plugs), went to pick it up, tried to drive it, couldn't break, eventually stopped, went back to mechanic, was told to leave it overnight, got a loaner, and am now driving a hoopty.
It's an old (RED!) caddy of somekind, and now I know why they call them land boats; we float down University Avenue (as I hide behind my the rain) and there are so many bells and whistles I couldn't even figure out how to take the parking break off. The kids LOVE it and act like they're on some kind of amusement ride. It's quite a sight, but I am very glad for mom and pop small town mechanics. They were so kind to me and the kids during this mess, and the funniest part to me was that ^J^ was blissfully unaware of pretty much all of it until I drove up in our new ride. He knew the car was sick when I dropped him off this morning, but luckily our community took care of me and the kids so much that I really didn't need to tell him anything until the car was (supposedly) fixed and we were on our way home. Of course he felt awful that he wasn't there to help, but we were able to rely on friends and be reminded about what an amazing place this is!

Hopefully our car will be all better tomorrow and it won't be much more of an expense. It seems a car issue always happens when we have a bit of extra money, which I guess is a blessing in a way, but geez! If it's not one know the rest. Happy downward slope to the weekend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So many pictures, so little time...

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I have so many waiting on my camera for me to download but to do that I need TIME...

I made a change in our weekely schedule today by deciding to drop choir. Although I really love it, I skipped last week and realized how much time it gives me not to go. I made the decision today and by missing practice today and was able to do, fold, and put away 3 loads of laundry! Imagine, being able to actually do things at home!

So, I'm really excited and looking forward to having more time at home and with the kids. I've really been sad about not being able to give more lessons to the kids at home, and I think we all need a little more unrushed time together.

Gotta run off to a Spouses' Meeting, more tomorrow in my new FREE TIME!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do You Feel the Love?

We aren't big Valentines Day people around here, but I was starting to feel it more lately with all the kids' events and cards they're getting. It's like anything, when the kids are excited, it makes me more excited. I got *A* some new watercolor paints and she and her Gramps made some valentines. Fun! They had a valentines exchange at school yesterday and cards from family are arriving every day this week. Fun! Getting mail is such a thrill for them, and thanks to all who've sent them cards!

But today when we went grocery shopping at Wally-World, it was like someone puked pink and red shiny fluffiness! Oh my gosh. I now know why I think is a Hallmark holiday, the people were buying it up like crazy! What is the deal?!! I saw one woman with 6 balloons tied to her cart, who needs 6 balloons? The poor clerks couldn't get the shelves stocked fast enough with more flowers and stuffed gorillas and pepto-bismol colored candy.

I'm all about taking the time to tell people you love them, but really, is this what we all need to feel loved? Maybe they'd like something heart-felt that you put a lot of thought into? Like a book or movie or music that you know they'd like? Or even a gift card, or even something homemade, maybe? Do these people really like getting a mound of balloons tied to an extra-large stuffed animal holding substandard chocolate? Aren't we supposed to be struggling financially as a country, do we really need to be spending our hard-earned money, or worse yet, credit-card loaned money on this crap?
*sigh* Sorry, stepping down off the soapbox now. It was truly amazing to me (as someone who's pretty far removed from "normal" culture right now) to witness this display of excess. Sorry if I offended anyone, it's just very interesting to be able to witness these things after being secluded on the mountain for a while. One thing we've been doing to enjoy our days more is this. It's a really fun way to stop and reconnect with your kids and nature/homelife by one of my favorite bloggers. And it's only $6! (The cost of one giganto balloon at wally-world). Check it out and watch the video. Good stuff.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Still Here...

Sorry. It's been a week. That's really long.

Last week was pretty hectic but I can't pinpoint why. I won't dwell on it but at least it ended well. Game night/Date night Friday, the kids' birthday parties on Saturday, and retail therapy with my mom on Sunday.
More pictures and details later. I'm off to run errands and have 2 kids pulling my shirt to get up.

I'll leave you with some random pictures of the calmer moments from last week...actually when I look at these, life looked pretty good!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Springy Sunday

It's warm here, like mid-50s, and since we're anticipating yet another snow storm (I'm not complaining) tomorrow or Tuesday, we're taking full advantage of it. This morning, in lieu of church (we're taking advantage of being able to skip here and there while we still can!), we went to play in the big field hockey field behind our house and took the dogs. They roamed and played and laid in the mud puddles while we threw ^J^'s new splurge, an aerobie frisbee (on clearance for $2.50, whoo hoo!). Even I can throw this thing far and it was great fun chasing it, the dogs, and the kids around.
And, as if that wasn't enough exercise, we went to Abbo's Alley: a walking/hiking nature trail on campus.
There are all kinds of fun things to explore there,
a koi pond,
a labyrinth and lots of streams and bridges.
I love hiking on the "real" trails around campus, and so do the kids, but it's nice to have a place to leisurely hike without having to constantly worry the kids are going to misstep and fall off a cliff.

It has been a great day so far and here's the best part of all this fresh air...
Hope your Sunday is just as relaxing!