Friday, February 28, 2014


Perhaps one of the most searched for videos in our Youtube history is "sharks".  National Geographic has some good ones and Aiden can sit for hours watching them.  We also have several books that he just loves to look through, naming all the sharks.

When I found out our local aquarium was putting on Shark Week, I knew we had to go!  My original thought was to bring all the kids, but a snowday thwarted those plans.

On Thursday morning when Aiden woke up I asked him if he would like to go see some sharks and got an emphatic yes, with a fist pump.  He immediately went up stairs to get dressed and put on bright clothes "so the sharks can see me!"

In the car he asked, Is it going to be like Petco?

Once inside, we made a beeline for the big shark tank.  My mighty warrior grabbed his momma's hand and didn't let go much of the day.  :)  We were up close and personal with ferocious sharks!

We were there in time to see the sea lion show, which made me miss the dolphin show they used to have.
I really didn't take too many pictures...I was trying to just be in the moment with my little date and enjoying his sense of wonder (plus he wasn't wanting to let go of my hand!), but I did get a couple and Dory was upon request, and the orange one (Aiden's favorite color).

Much of the aquarium exhibits are outside, which is less than spectacular in February.  Still, it was a nice day to wander outside.

A successful day!  He was so appreciative that I'd taken him and recognized how special it was that he and I got that time together.  What a guy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Avery's Basketball

After two years of Biddy Ball, Avery was finally old enough to join the kids who were playing timed games with refs and rules.  The first night we showed up to practice I thought we were in the wrong place...the girls looked so much bigger than Avery!

The team played 10 regular season games and in the first few, Avery was very hesitant.  Unsure of what to do, she just did her best to stay away from the basketball and any action that might cause physical contact.  And she could not wrap her head around why anyone would slide or fall on the floor to get the ball.

Somewhere along the way it all just started to click for her.  She began to get involved and wanted to be an active part of what was happening on the court.  What a transformation over the season!

She reminds me so much of her daddy when she plays and I love to see the passion she developed.

So proud of the hard work she put in and the way she played through her fear.

Privately, her coach praised her growth.  He said at the beginning she seemed nervous about being near the ball but by the end of the season she ended up being the best on-ball defensive player on the team.

Avery had some adoring fans there...Grammy drove a long way late at night (and waited for the game to start almost two hours late!!)
And Uncle Micah and Alayna came, too.

Over the years I've wished I was more competitive, that I had more "drive".  But now that the kids are getting older and are experiencing winning and losing, I've realized I can be the voice of reason in our house.  :)

Their competitiveness and desire to win comes honestly...Shaun is one of THE most competitive people I know.  He was her first hug as she melted into tears over the heartbreaking loss.
The assistant coach took some sweet moments with her and said she was his favorite player and that she could play on his team any time.

He was always quick to show her something in practice or explain something on the bench during a game and she appreciated his extra efforts.

I asked Avery if she would write about her experience, in her own words:

On Saturday I had a Basketball playoff game.  I worked really hard.  We had overtime twice.  We played against Marlborough and we lost.  It was sad because the score at the end was 13 to 16.  I cried at the end.  My team was for 3 and 4 graders.  They were only girls.  Their names were...and me.  I was biting my fingernails in overtime.  My coach is Coach Andy and he had his dad the bookkeeper.  I was really sad, but it was okay.

She can't wait to get a chance at next year!  Her sister will be joining the team as a 3rd grader.  THAT should be interesting!  :)

You will succeed in whatever you choose to do
and light will shine on the road ahead of you

Job 22:28

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project 365, Week 8

There's a strange man in our house this morning....Shaun's first day off from the office since January 16.  On the calendar, that's only six weeks, but in the every day of life, it seems like its been a lot longer.  However, by the grace of God (only!), we made it through another busy season!!  We're quite excited to get some family time today, which includes working on an apartment, but it will be in the same breathing space, and thats a good thing.

Here's a bit of this past week:

February 16
Every year, the kids go to my dad's church on Valentine's Sunday and help hand out carnations to all the ladies in attendance.  I had to run out in the morning, but when I got home Aiden had gotten himself all spiffy for church.
After service the girls helped serve.

 February 17
About twice a year my dad gathers everyone for a sledding/slip-n-slide party, depending on the time of year.  Winter or summer, I think the kids are equally happy making runs down the hill.

 My brother grabbed this pic of me giving Aiden some luvin'.
 R told me he had packed Aiden's snow gear for sledding.  He did, he just forgot mittens and boots!  No worries...MacGuyver Pop was able to fashion boots out of duct tape and a clothes hanger.
 February 18
A scheduled day off from school that ended up being a snow day.

 Grammy was up from Carolina and was able to spend some time here, including a bedtime story.
 February 19
Finally back to school, and finally able to celebrate Valentine's Day with her classmates.  Amanda came home with a bag of loot and let her brother take his pick.
 Everyone was helping in the kitchen.  R made fondant for the first time, preparing for a school project.

February 20
I love listening to these two play pretend in the monitor, taking advantage of a delayed school opening.

 Part 3 of 3 of Avery's school project.  Lord have mercy!
Feeling my pain, my sister sent this to me:

Aiden and I had a date at the aquarium, which was featuring Shark Week.  Such sweet time that I'll post more on later.
 February 21
Kiki sent me these pictures of Aiden and Pop serving in their monthly service at the assisted living home.  (Notice the two guitars in the back).  So thankful Aiden is learning from all directions that serving and giving are a natural part of everyday life.  From 4 to 94, we need to reinforce to ourselves that LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME (I need that daily).

Our foster care agency hosted a life skills class for the kids on cooking, many who will soon be on their own and will hopefully know how to do more than pop Ramen noodles into the microwave.
 February 22
The kids had a Toby Mac jam session.  I think they performed an entire CD!  (Yes, Avery confirmed that for me. )

 R got a chance to hook up again with his bio brother, so while he was doing that, the kids and I spent some time with Auntie Sarah and Uncle Tony.  I was so happy to be able to get a few shots of her beautiful belly...just seven-ish more weeks til we get to meet the little guy!
 Then Avery had her first (and last of the season :( ) playoff game.  More on that later, too.

 Hope you have a great week.  C'mon March!!  :)