Sunday, January 23, 2011

To the Dentist

Most parents will agree it's hard to find time to get basic appointments taken care of, like the eye doctor and the dentist. Shawn was scheduled to start some orthodontic work in February, so it was very important he visit the dentist for a cleaning before stating ortho. Unfortunately, I was in the hospital the last week of 2010, and the appointments I had scheduled for the three of us had to be canceled.

With snow days keeping us home in January, I took a chance and it paid off--I was able to get the boys in to the dentist on a snowy afternoon! They didn't have time for all of us, but we scheduled a time for Shawn. When the person after Shawn didn't show up, we snuck Tyler into the schedule as well, so they both got their dental checkups and cleaning.

Surprisingly, Shawn had done a great job of keeping his teeth clean. Considering the difficulty we've had with him brushing his teeth, this was a very pleasant surprise. (HoneyBear thought his lack of appetite due to meds might have been in his favor since he didn't eat much. Not eating much meant less ick in his mouth!) He chose a gumball machine from the treasure chest and got a "Certificate of Bravery" good for a free taco from Taco Bell.
Tyler didn't get a good report, unfortunately. Hearing this from someone other than parents might be a good thing, though. The hygienist showed us all proper brushing habits again, and he seemed to take the lesson to heart. He chose a little toy lizard from the treasure chest and also got a "Certificate of Bravery."
They got their usual goody bag of dental care items after the visit. The upcoming weekend was a big football day with the Chicago Bears playing rivals Green Bay, so when I saw their toothbrush colors, I almost cheered. Orange and blue for Chicago--Go Bears! :)
I may not have gotten a cleaning, but the boys were set for another 6 months, and Shawn was ready for his orthodontic work. Besides, it's much easier to schedule one adult than a child who has to be picked up from school!

January Snow

The third week in January was a full week. With the very successful start of Cross Church Fayetteville on January 16, we were glad for a holiday and no school the next day for a bit of rest. Of course, we wound up not getting much rest between doctor appointments for me and Shawn and a vet appointment for Tucker and cub scout meetings in the evenings, but the boys and I did get a little extra sleep in the morning.

Our short school week was made even shorter by the weather. Early morning of January 20 ushered in a snow storm that resulted in accumulation of 4-5 inches in Fayetteville. Fortunately, it wasn't too terribly cold, so we were able to get outside in it and play.

They brought out some cars to drive through the snow. The cars got buried in the depths and had to be "rescued."
 They had a snowball fight.
Shawn much preferred sending snowballs after his brother than getting hit.
They had left the football in the yard so that it was buried in snow. They decided they had to play football, so dug it out. I think Daddy was jealous when he got home to learn they'd played snow-football. The crazy weather days were his favorite times to play his favorite game!
When they tired of playing with the football, Shawn decided to bury it again.

Tyler threw a few more snowballs, but Shawn had a bit of a meltdown when a snowball hit him in the face. He couldn't get the snow off his glasses with his gloves on.

He continued playing sans glasses. Now that the football was buried, it was time to bury a soccer ball. Even in winter we have an abundance of balls in our yard. They may not be aired up, but they're there!
It was only snowing very lightly, but enough to try to catch flakes on the tongue.

 Tyler was very serious about his snowflake-catching!
They moved on to lightsaber duels. Tyler was not happy to have to use the red one, though, since no one used a red lightsaber on Planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Since they were playing in the snow, it had to be Hoth, right?
Missing two days for snow meant the holiday week was very short, but the boys had much fun playing in the first big snow storm of the year. We had already experienced a snow event in January, but "only" had about 1/2" of snow, so this one could indeed be called the first "big" snow storm. Meanwhile, there were already predictions of another storm or two headed our way. At least this one allowed some fun in the snow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Praying for Fayetteville

With hours left before the start of Cross Church Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Core Team gathered together Saturday evening, January 15, in prayer for the next day. It was an amazing time to be together. We were able to see the stage prepared for the services the following morning.

The worship leader's iPad was all ready as well.

We prayed together for the leaders, the people who would be there the next day, and the city. We finished with a brief worship time.
We were ready to see what God would do the next day as we began our great adventure.

A 5 Mile Hike

Tyler is thoroughly enjoying being a Scout. He has done a lot of work to ensure he not only gets his Webelos rank, but also achieves Arrow of Light, the highest rank a Cub Scout can achieve. By going those extra steps to reach Arrow of Light, he'll be able to "crossover," moving from Cub Scout to Boy Scout, at the end of February, rather than waiting until the end of the year.

One of the requirements for Arrow of Light involves an outing with a Boy Scout troop. He actually met this requirement with a campout in the fall, but had the opportunity to go on a hike with the Boy Scout troop this weekend.

A 5-mile hike seemed like a long distance to me, especially since he's never done any hiking, but he was excited to participate. They hiked the path around Lake Fayetteville, a beautiful trek that goes by the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and concludes by crossing over the spillway for Lake Fayetteville.

The boys had a great time! There wound up only being a small group of his Webelos den, but Tyler enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know some of the older boys, too. Since he'll be a part of their troop in a very short time period, it was good for him to start getting to know them. The weather was almost perfect. It was a cool day, but not cold, and after a short time they were able to take their jackets off. Tyler had carried his lighter jacket, so it was good for the time they needed the jackets, but also lighter to carry once they took them off.
Even after a 5-mile hike, the boys had plenty of energy. When I arrived to pick them up they were even chasing one another around the pick-up area!

Tyler thoroughly enjoyed the day and the time with his friends. He's now looking forward to crossing over and joining his new friends in Boy Scout Troop 107.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cross Church Fayetteville

What exciting times! We are so close to the first service of Cross Church Fayetteville. The building is almost ready, and the plans are coming together for each team.

Wednesday night, January 12, our main teams met together at the building for the first time. HoneyBear and I joined the CrossKidz team to find out our roles. Though we'll be focusing on the Wednesday night activities once they start up in February, and HoneyBear will be balancing parking responsibilities with his time with CrossKidz, we're excited to be able to serve during the Sunday morning services for the first month or so.

HoneyBear did not have a good work day, with some problems occurring with the Pepsi truck, so he met the boys and me at the church. We arrived early enough to get a good look at the building and enjoy the Kidz area set.

We spent a little bit of time cleaning up toys for the preschool area. The boys, especially Shawn, joined a friend in her magical box--the best toy ever--and stayed entertained for quite some time.

Mr. Cameron gave us some great info, with Nick also joining in the meeting.
We left excited about the upcoming weekend for Cross Church!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Love Fayetteville

I moved to Fayetteville in 1993 to go to school. Though we did live in Springdale for a few years after we were married, we've lived back in Fayetteville since Tyler was 2. We don't dislike Springdale, or any other town in Northwest Arkansas, but I work for the Fayetteville School District and our boys go to Fayetteville schools. We love Fayetteville.

We also love our church. HoneyBear has been going to First Baptist Church of Springdale since junior high. I started going my junior year in college. (I moved to that church because he went there, as well as a few other friends from our college group.) We were married at the church. Although we did attend another church not long after we were married, we both loved First Baptist and wound up back there. Both of our boys were baptized there. The boys and I have been in numerous childrens' choir presentations there. We love our church.

Our church is in Springdale. That's only a short drive up the road, but it is in a different town. It's a great town, but not our town. Last spring I began feeling a slight bit of discouragement about the location. The boys' friends (other than church friends) live in Fayetteville. I felt a bit of resistance asking friends to go to church with us in Springdale when we live in Fayetteville, even knowing it's so close. I also realized that a lot of the kids active in the youth group and childrens' ministry attended Springdale schools. Though there was absolutely nothing wrong with that, I began growing a bit concerned that the boys would have church friends separate from school friends. Since I have had a tendency to "church hop" in the past, though, I determined to ignore my concerns.

I was amazed and awe-struck in April when Pastor made an announcement that would change our lives. Our church would be planting a location in Fayetteville. We would have three campuses, all with the same mission and focus of reaching Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world for Jesus Christ.

FB AdvancingOurMission from Cross Church on Vimeo.

Even with my previous feelings and concerns, it was not an easy decision for our family to become a part of the Fayetteville campus core team. I had a ministry opportunity with children's choirs, the boys were active there, we had friends we loved, and of course we had history at the Springdale location, especially HoneyBear. After prayer and discussion with others and together, we did make the decision to move to the Fayetteville location and work as part of the core team at the new campus.

We are so thankful for this opportunity. The first service is almost here, and we're moving forward in our new roles. I have an amazing opportunity to still be part of the children's ministry, including childrens' worship. HoneyBear will be not only part of the children's team, but will also use his vocation of driving to help the parking team. He'll be driving the 16-passenger vehicle to transport our members and guests between the various parking lots available to us up to the building. This is something he is uniquely skilled for, and it's exciting to see him have a perfect fit in our new adventure.

The boys will leave some of their friends, as will we, but God is working in our lives, and we all feel that we are where God wants us. What an amazing feeling it is to have confidence we are in God's will and his perfect timing.

We thank our God for our church and our city, which we love.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sugar Sugar

The Hogs had a great football season overall this year! With a final record of 10-3 (6-2 in SEC), they played in the Sugar Bowl on January 4, 2011.

I wasn't feeling up to a big get-together or watch party, so we opted to just stay home. I did, however, pick up some special treats. Rick's Bakery was doing a special on pre-orders for the game, so I ordered some cupcakes--some in chocolate and some in white for my son who doesn't like chocolate (I know, I don't understand it either.) We love Rick's--not only do they taste great, but they always turn out so cute. I  ordered a Rick's cake for Tyler's first birthday party, and it was just so precious I got hooked. Tyler's birthday cakes come from Rick's every year now, and many of Shawn's as well.

The Rick's cupcakes this year fit well with the theme--SUGAR bowl! They were so sweet with all that icing. But we enjoyed them.
 We may not have won the game, but we're still proud of our Hogs.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Deer Camp

I've become more of an "inside kind of girl" over the last several years, particularly since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and experiencing the accompanying heat intolerance and challenges with temperature fluctuations. I think it's sometimes hard for my boys to believe that Mommy really did grow up spending more time outdoors. I've had to be careful, but we have been able to take some camping trips and do some fishing, so hopefully they can learn to enjoy these things anyway. Of course going boating with Papa and Nana also means tubing, which they already definitely enjoy. (They were shocked to see some pictures of Mommy as a teenager water skiing recently, though. It seems they think Papa has a boat and tubes just for them!)

This past year we were able to introduce Tyler to another outdoor activity that's always been meaningful in my family--hunting. Although Nana has never hunted, and I only went a few times as a teenager and young adult, deer season and squirrel season were always important parts of the year in my family. My dad, my grandfather, my dad's cousin, and some other men loved spending the time together in the woods almost as much as the hunting. With my grandfather and dad's cousin no longer with us, the love of hunting didn't change, but the loss of the important hunting partners certainly dampened some of the comradery that these trips allowed.

HoneyBear did not grow up hunting, but he has always adored being outdoors and quickly learned to enjoy hunting trips. He has tried to join my dad hunting several different times since we married, but time off work has rarely worked out. Since he works with several hunters, he can't take off the times when my family spends time in the woods, and trying to coordinate the boys' fall sports and other things just gets crazy.

This year finally worked out with an after-Christmas hunt. To make it even more special, this year Tyler joined in to begin learning about his hunting heritage! He had already learned to enjoy his Red Rider BB Gun, but had not had any other opportunities to be involved in guns or hunting. HoneyBear and Tyler went through hunters' education classes in early December. It wasn't the most entertaining class for Tyler, but he did pass the test and seemed to learn some things. He especially noted the information on ATVs, since riding Papa's 4-wheelers has become a favorite activity at Nana and Papa's house.

For the hunting trip, we traveled to Little Rock late Christmas Eve for Christmas at Nana and Papa's, then on December 26, the first day of the after Christmas hunt, we all traveled down to Camden and the deer woods. HoneyBear towed the 4-wheelers, and Papa towed the camper. 
HoneyBear's Christmas present seemed to be appreciated--a Hogs hat perfect for hunting.
HoneyBear looked on as Papa connected the trailer with the 4-wheelers to our truck.
Tucker and Roly enjoyed chasing Papa as he headed around the camper.
Since it was a pretty chilly day and Nana and I both were feeling poorly, once we got there she and I settled in to the camper and napped (which meant there were no photos taken at camp). Shawn enjoyed being in the campsite, and wandered around collecting rocks and just being all boy. Tyler got a chance to go over with HoneyBear and Papa to sight in the gun he'd be using and do some shooting. 

After a brief moment of being directionally challenged, Shawn, Nana and I left the guys in the woods and headed back to Little Rock. They wound up not seeing any deer, but did enjoy the time together in deer camp.