My how they've grown - Atlanta '11

Olivia was not pleased to be parting ways with Kate.
I am just realizing that all the pictures I took are on your camera, Veerman. Update your blog, sister.

House Mountain

I have really learned to appreciate desert hiking. It is beautiful. But the mountains of East Tennessee will always be my home. If I remember right this was about a 3 mile hike and the kids did the whole thing. We hiked out to the sound of an eire appalachain tune played by an invisible whistle player.

Nothing like it.

A few highlights

I can't believe we have been back a month! My favorite spot from the whole trip is that porch right there behind those four generations. My parents have the best front porch. We swang on it (swang is apparently not a word, or I have spelled it incorrectly), ate on it, had nerf gun shooting competitions from it, slept on it, crawled around on it, read on it. I miss it.This pic is blurry, but I thought Olivia's face was pretty funny. Below is the Fountain City duck pond...which I think has been renamed something very cosmopolitan, but I don't remember...nor do I care. It will always be the FC duck pond to me. My Momma fed ducks there as a kid and so did I. I wouldn't call what Joseph was doing feeding per se. Target practice was more like it.
See, Baby G loves the porch too!

Went strawberry pickin' at the Fruit and Burry Patch. (That's right, I said burry.)

Who shrunk the tub?
Family. Too complicated to explain how, but I am sure thankful we are.
Crazy Uncle Larry
Great Mamaw and some of her babies...there are almost 20 of them I think.
East Tennessee in Spring. It sure was nice. Thank you all.

Where the magic happens

I think I counted something like 15 pieces of furniture in my parent's house that my dad has built. That doesn't count all the things he has built for the rest of us in the family and the set of adirondack chairs they just sold in a garage sale. (I think you should start taking stuff to flea markets...and saving up for O, G, and Joe's college fund! :)I think this workshop, probably over 40 years in the making, would cause a lot of folks to drool. I'd say it has probably been good for my parent's marriage as well...right?

Celebrating the boy

He is the only boy grandchild on my side of the family...and oddly the enough he may be more emotional than all the girls combined. But his pitching is outstanding. Hope that does not mean he will grow up to be a temperamental professional athlete. Joseph is really a funny kid. The other day, when I was trying to convince him to take his nap (with me on the couch) without sucking his thumb, he squirmed around a bit, trying to get comfortable and his thumb kept, as if drawn by magnetic force, slipping toward his lips. He sighed in exasperation and asked me, "What do you do with your hands when you aren't sucking them?" His favorite color changes every day. He would try to live on a diet of fruit alone if I let him. He has THE BEST belly life I have ever heard. He prefers not to wear underwear if given a choice. And he has been known to sleep with a baseball bat, glove, and/or Padres hat (on his head). Almost as fun as watching Joseph enjoy shooting competitions off my parents' from porch, was licking the bullets and sticking them to Greta's forehead and seeing her try to get them off.
This kid is so easily pleased.
We ate the ones on the lower deck.
I had to post it, Mom. It was just too funny. (I can't figure out how to spell the Miss Piggy snort.)
It was fun to celebrate Joe Joe with my folks.

Getting there

So, she comes into our room to say that this is what she will be taking on our trip...on the plane with her. Cute little rosy-cheeked bag lady. That girl has more bags I've said before, I'm no good with metaphors. She was quite proud of her packing. She really messes with my OCD when it comes to packing.
Thankfully, everyone was content with A back pack. I didn't have room for much in mine once Greta got in.

It is a shame traveling is so expensive. They are champs!

A few glimpses of Easter Sunday

This picture feels a little dishonest. We are rarely ever this coordinated (if three of us in shades of blue counts as coordinated.). We are never all looking at the camera at the same time. We are never all this clean at the same time. My hair is not straight naturally. And Mike never sits like that. But underneath we are all still the same - and most of you know what that looks like...and love us anyway. Thank you.I have a feeling I will look back at these early church plant days with fondness. While it feels a little (or a lot) overwhelming at times, there is something very simple and family-like about it. Afternoons spent in the front yard after worship, just rolling around in the grass and hanging out.
Lana, that chick takes the cutest pictures.
Guess who just got kissed by Dragon. He looks guilty doesn't he?
There were more digital cameras than kids! Frank and Irma are so sweet to include us in so many of their family celebrations. There are four generations at their home most weekends.
Enjoying her version of Sabbath rest on the Easter Bunny. Full day.