Monday, November 30, 2009

My kiddos

Being an inner city children's pastor is challenging for sure...but it's really rewarding also. We started an after school program this fall and although it adds a lot to my plate each week, it's been really great to be able to have time with the kids everyday instead of just once or twice a week. I couldn't let Thanksgiving pass by without saying that I'm really thankful for my church and for these kids. The kids I work with are kids that would most likely be overlooked. I'm so thankful that I'm at a church that welcomes people that wouldn't feel welcome at most churches. The picture below is of me and some of the kids with the craft project they did the last day we were all together before Thanksgiving.
The other thing I'm really thankful for is our local Christian high school. I have students from Lexington Christian Academy that have been coming and helping with our kids after school. Our kids love having all of these high schoolers around and for me and our staff it has helped ease the load.

It's really awesome to get to do something that you really love doing....for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A day at the beach...

I really love western Michigan. If it wasn't for the winter, I could live here. My aunt, cousin, Katelyn and I went out to Grand Haven today on Lake Michigan. This is one of my favorite places ever!
Katelyn had a great time playing with the sand, running and jumping on the big rocks. Such a happy baby.

Here's Adrianne and Kateybug. They're a great team! Katelyn likes getting to play with her cousins. (I do too.)

Here's Katelyn looking at Lake Michigan. We didn't walk out to the lighthouse because I was rather nervous having this busy little girl on the section of the pier without railings...and it was freezing!

Here's Aunt Shirley and I. This would have been the perfect picture if it weren't for the wind giving us peacock hair.

We're heading home tomorrow and I'm a little sad to leave. It's been such a great weekend and I'm so thankful for time to relax and spend great time with family. We're so blessed! Really we are...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Katelyn and I came up to Michigan to spend a long weekend with family. I must say, I love my crazy family. We laugh all the time and when one of us needs something everyone rallies. It's pretty amazing actually. Katelyn and our whole family are at the top of my thankful list this year! Here's a picture of my aunt, three of my cousins and me!
Katelyn loved hanging out with everyone. A day of lots of food and activity. Perfect for this little one.

Two more cousins! (I have lots of them.)

We can hardly be serious for five seconds. Getting a "real" picture is next to impossible. :)

Katelyn loves my cousin Billy. No one can figure it out really. She goes right to him and sits on his lap. I mean, I tried to tell her that he used to bite me when we were kids, but she just won't listen. I think he was bribing her with candy.

Jen and Billy really love each other...can't you tell?

Joey loves his he should!

Katelyn loves Adrianne. Adrianne is awesome with kids and she's found herself a little buddy.

Aunt Diane said that yesterday was the 40th anniversary of her and Uncle Ed's engagement. Uncle Ed really was excited to hear that. Nick was not helping... :)

Janna made an apple pie and a pumpkin pie. This picture is for my dad. I was told I had to rub it in that we ate apple pie without you. (Sorry, I was forced to post this.)

We missed grandma for sure, but we really did spend time counting our blessings and we know she would have loved that. We all missed my mom and dad who are in Arizona and my brother and sister in law that are down in Kentucky...but Christmas is right around the corner and we can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A house full

My pastor and his wife had a conference to go to in Tennessee, so their boys came over after our kid's program tonight at church to spend the night here with Katelyn and I. These two boys are so sweet to Kateybug. They all love each other. Katelyn loved having "brothers" around. They drank chocolate milk, read stories and said their prayers together. Then they all snuggled in the boy's bed for a few minutes before everyone went to sleep. So cute!
I love having a house full of kiddos.

Night night!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beautiful girl...

I know I'm biased....I know this...but really, my daughter is gorgeous. (Again, I can say this because she's adopted so I had nothing to do with this genetically.) She smiles and her whole face lights up and you just can't help but smile with her....Look at these pictures and just try not to smile...I dare you.
So big...really she is just getting so big....

I smile every single matter how hard the day is...I always smile. How could I not?

The Target toy catalog is here...and Katelyn's been pouring over it....very intently. Christmas is coming!!! It's going to be so fun this year.

She spotted the Super Why computer...she loves Super Why.

I brought Katelyn into my room for a while this morning because it was still a little early to commit to starting the day. :) She climbed into bed with me and laid there with her little face right in front of mine and she said, "I wub you mama. You my best frwend eber eber." I'm not lying...and my heart melted. (I would like this documented....ten years from now when she's screaming that she hates me while slamming a door, I want to be able to read this...)

Happy Birthday Holly!

Katelyn and I are SO blessed to have Holly and her husband Brandon as our neighbors. In the last year especially, they've become like family to us. Holly is one of the most genuine, thoughtful and caring people I know. It's really easy to celebrate her life~!
Katelyn loves Holly. Holly loves Katelyn.

Katelyn loves Katelyn really loves Holly's birthday.

We all play and laugh together a lot. And someone spoils Katelyn a lot (I'm not naming any names...HOLLY!)

Silly girls.

Happy Birthday Holly...we love you!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hiking together

It's been a long week. But the reality is right now, all weeks are full and go by quickly. I'm struggling to find time for myself and time to spend with other adults. (The plight of all parents with young children, but especially challenging for a single mom.) So I went to bed last night feeling overwhelmed and was happy to wake up this morning to a beautiful fall day. It's 65 degrees and mid-November...yippie! So I knew we weren't going to sit around the house off we went to Raven's Run Nature Sanctuary. It's about 15-20 miles from the house and it's thousands of acres of beautiful.
Here we are enjoying our day!
This was Katelyn's first real hike and I wasn't sure how far she'd make it, so I picked a one-mile forest loop. She did awesome! She walked the whole way herself.
We got to go on the stepping stone's to get across the creek.

Isn't it gorgeous!!!

I love my girl. She really is my favorite person to spend the day with...even though she talks about Dora the Explorer a lot.

I packed apple slices and sandwiches. Here's Katelyn's sandwich spot. :)

The trail...

She's gotten so big. There's always part of me that wants her to stay little forever, but today there was part of me that was excited for the years to come. The main trail around Raven's Run is 4 miles and part of it goes along the cliff overlooking the Kentucky River. It was so nice out I really wanted to do the whole loop. Maybe I need to get a hiking carrier for her so I can throw her on my back and then we could go...She's getting kind of heavy though....hmmmm.

I love this picture. It always amazes me how perfect a fit Katelyn and I are for each other...and how much I love her.

I feel like today was the deep breath I needed...and now I'm not so overwhelmed.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

An extra hour of sleep...maybe not.

I was pretty excited about the extra hour of sleep that we were going to get last night....until Katelyn woke up at 5:30. After some coaxing she laid back down and was relatively quiet until 7, but then she was definitely ready to get up. So we were ready EARLY for church today (that's a first). We went outside for a few minutes before we left and of course I had to snap a few pictures. I know this is my girl. I make the same crinkled up brow when I'm concentrating on something. :)
All ready to go to church and play with her friends!

She heard an airplane and was pretty interested in that...

"Mom, are you almost done?"

I went to Half Price Books and got a book for $1 and then went over to Starbucks and read my book with a pumpkin spice latte. Ahhhh...I'm all ready for the week now.
And for those of you who were mad at me for not posting often enough...have I caught up yet?