Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Awana Grand Prix

Last weekend Ethan participated in his first Pinewood Derby. This was the first year since we have been a part of Awana that he was eligible to enter a car. The two years he was in Cubbies he wasn't old enough but now that he has moved into Sparks, this will be an annual event for years to come! This was also Ben's first Pinewood Derby so he spent a lot of time researching what style of car is the most aerodynamic as well as the best way to weight the car and grease the axles to give them the fastest time on his runs. They both had a blast and Ethan is looking forward to next year when he will be able to do more of the work on the car himself.
Check In
 Our Racer
All of the entries
Getting ready to race
Ethan's car is the blue one in the 1st lane. He and Ben decided he wanted a Batman theme with a Ghostbusters style. Boys!
 He placed either 1st or 2nd in all 4 heat races...He was 2nd in this race
 First place on this one...
 Ethan with our Awana Coordinator, Ms. Christy
Before the Derby race for the 5 and up kiddos, the church put on a mini Grand Prix for the 3's and 4's. They were allowed to bring their riding toys from home and race around the "track" that had been set up in the gym. Caden brought his glide bike but totally bailed at the last minute and decided he didn't want to participate :-(
It was a great day and we can't wait until next year!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Marvel Universe Live

The day after Christmas, Ben and Ethan had a date day to the Marvel Universe Live show. The show had a storyline that incorporated all of their favorite comic book superheroes which they absolutely loved!
 There were lots of stunts and lasers used throughout the show and Ethan was completely enthralled!
Definitely a successful day for the two of them!
Ben said it was an amazing show and he would love to see it again the next time it comes to town.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Day

Caden woke up at 7:15 Christmas morning and Ethan got up around 7:40...we thought that wasn't too bad for Christmas morning! Once Mommy grabbed the camera, they headed down the stairs with Daddy to see what Santa brought
  With a few more Lego kits and 2 giant tubs to build from, the Paw Patrol tower, Ethan's bow & arrow, Caden's replacement movie for our scratched Cars 2(which was what he kept telling us that he wanted Santa to bring), and a few other items, I would say Santa overlooked a lot of things this year and spoiled them anyway  ;-)
 Love these expressions on their faces!
 Then we went into the living room and checked on Santa's milk, cookies, and reindeer food. Santa and the reindeer must have been hungry because all they left were a few crumbs
 The highlight was getting the Planes Fire and Rescue complete vehicle kit
 Walkie talkies...Breaker Breaker 1-9
 10-4 Little Buddy
 And the Star Wars Rebels figurines. This is the newest fascination in our house!
After present overload had concluded, Ethan transferred into Army Commando mode and convinced Caden to put on his camos as well so they could play hide and seek with their walkie talkies. They had a super fun morning playing which made it difficult to convince them to take time out to eat breakfast, but eventually they slowed down to watch Cars 2 and rest a little bit.
Ben's only Christmas Day request was a fresh batch of sausage balls so I got started making those and we had a relaxing Christmas Day. By that evening we were ready for a change of scenery so we headed up to Pawpaw Forrester & Nana Lyndy's to eat dinner with them, Ben's sister, and her family.
 And just like that, Christmas was over. After having decorations up for so long, I was very ready to get the house back to normal and lose the overwhelming feeling that comes along with having a figurine or garland on every surface in the house. While our home is almost cluttered and not minimalist by ANY means, it is amazing how bare it feels after the decorations are put away. But for now, I quite like it like this!

Christmas Eve

We had a low key couple of days after everyone left and spent some time on Monday making Peppermint Crunch and M&M Pretzels for our neighbor friends. On Tuesday, we made a family event out of decorating gingerbread houses and making sugar cookies(which Mommy didn't even think to take pictures of...total Christmas season fail) 

Christmas Eve finally arrived and we made Jesus' birthday cake and reindeer cookies for our Light Ride. That afternoon we got ready for Christmas Eve service at church. This was the first year that we attempted to sit in the sanctuary as a family. The service was amazing and I brought plenty of snacks to keep the boys' mouths full so that they wouldn't have time to talk. We sang carols, the children performed several songs on stage and then we listened to our awesome praise band do a very cool rendition of Hark, the Herald Angels Sing complete with beat-boxing. Our Praise in Motion dance teachers also performed with two of our youth drummers to The Little Drummer Boy then our pastor gave a wonderful message. The service concluded with communion and a live Nativity(including baby Jesus!) as the birth of our Savior was presented to the congregation. It was a truly wonderful service! Unfortunately, Caden and I missed the end of the service because he began getting antsy and loudly told me that he was tired of the 10 month old sitting in front of us looking at him. As I turned red and the mother quickly handed her baby to her husband, we scooted out to the Lobby for the remainder of the service. However, we had a bird's eye view of the Nativity because they were walking in from the Lobby. I had hoped to get a family picture of us all dressed up for church but had to settle for a post service picture of the boys in front of the living room tree.
 After a late nap for Caden, dinner and baths, the boys put on their new PJ's from Maw-Maw and we loaded up in the car with milk, cookies, and blankets for our tradition of a final Christmas Light Ride.
 Ethan loved wearing a Santa hat this year :-)
 Once our ride was over, we sang an early Happy Birthday to Jesus, had a small bite of his birthday cake, and headed to bed to get ready for Santa's arrival! I love, love, love, the devotion that we have that goes with making Jesus' birthday cake. It is chocolate and round, frosted white, with an angel, a star, a green tree, and red candles on it. Chocolate for the darkness in our hearts before we know Jesus; round for His never-ending love; frosted white because our sin is washed away white as snow; an angel to remind us of the good tidings brought to the shepherds and the good news we should share with others; a star for the Wise Men who followed it to Bethlehem reminding us to follow Him; a green tree to remind us to live and grow in His word; and red candles for Jesus' blood that was shed for our sins. Although this isn't the first year we have made this cake, I love that Ethan is now old enough to truly understand it's meaning.
 Then the kiddos set out milk and cookies for Santa and a bowl of food for his reindeer(with a note telling Santa how to feed them from Ethan), and they went to bed so that Mommy and Daddy could put presents for both boys under the living room tree.
 Finally Santa came a little later and left his goodies under the tree in the playroom
And we were ready for Christmas morning!