We got together on July 4th with sweet friends and had such a wonderful day. The weather was so beautiful the entire day that it was almost cool by evening time. I like to visit that day in my mind because for the last few days it has been SO. STINKIN'. HOT.
The other children pictured here with my kiddos have been part of our family as long as we have lived in Virginia. When Hannah (age 12) was starting preschool she and Ellen (to the left of Hannah) were only four years old. Her mother (The Lurker) was about 13 months pregnant with Ethan (football jersey) and I met her in the parking lot one day after preschool.
Immediately....or as soon as she spoke with a southern drawl that is.....I was drawn to her and have been ever since! I made her swear after our first lunch date at McDonald's that she had no plans of moving away, because I had no desire to waste my time with someone about to move off. I had already severed the cord with my soul sister Tiffany and I wasn't lookin' for that kinda hurt anytime soon. She never actually promised and for good reason because they are headed north in a few short months. Can't go there now. Ugly, sloppy, snotty, crying involved and I'm putting it off as long as possible.
Her second born (pictured-middle) is Alvah and his momma and I are secretly saving childhood pictures of their adventures to use at their wedding reception ;) Emma and Al also attended preschool together and didn't actually realize that they were boy versus girl until about the second grade.
I could write for days about this relationship, this family, and the memories that we have been blessed to share over the years. Above everything else, I am grateful for the true biblical friendship that we have. I count it is one of the unbelievable gifts God has given me through my girlfriends.
I have to share one of our "moments"....
I had known "L" for a few short months when our paths crossed at Wal-Mart one morning. Unbeknownst to her, I was in the midst of one of the greatest trials in my life. Having moved 1300+ miles from home, leaving our church and the only church I had known, all of our family and dealing with a husband who was working 70 hours a week was taking a toll on me. She asked me in a genuine way "how I was" and so I genuinely broke down in a chorus of sobs....right there in the peanut butter aisle. Without hesitation, she took my arm, pulled me in and began to pray....right there....at the Wal-Mart. What a safe and sweet place for me to rest in a moment that God had designed. I love His design.
See? It's things like this that make her necessary for my life. Things like this and things like.....preparing shrimp salad and tortilla wraps when we go to the pool. She's classy AND she loves Jesus. It's necessary.
Enough gush. Let me share our day!
Did I mention that the weather was stupendous? It was stupendous. Or unseasonably mild.
We played Bocce Ball. You don't know about Bocce Ball? "OH. MY. DOODNESS." as Samuel would say. It is a load of fun! You can buy a set at Costco or Target. All ages can play, which means the whole family gets in on the intense competition!
Off Topic Side note-
By the way.....they say our tiny baby is the size of a kumquat. Yeah right.
Let me just tell you that there must be some gigantic kumquats out there because my girth would argue that the baby's size would more along the lines of a honeydew or a cantaloupe or maybe a volleyball. Just thought you would like to know.
4th babies ain't shy.
Back to the 4th......of July-
This picture is the work of a child photographer. The leg belongs to my daughter and the elbow belongs to my husband.
Lea Ann's husband (white shirt) brought out cans and cans (and more cans) of silly string.
Silly String + Pregnancy = wetting your pants.
Samuel said, um....no thanks to the silly string madness. He watched from afar and occasionally stuck his head out the front door and shouted, "IS IT DONE?"
Later that evening we headed to a special little place to watch fireworks. "Oh, it is perfect!" (says me) "We go every year and have a splendid time" (says me again) "There is no traffic and you can see the fireworks perfectly!!!" (my mouth speaking again and the last part of that sentence would turn out to be the fattest lie)
Fireworks are totally illegal in our county but just a few short miles down the road you can fire'm up right across from the police station. Gotta love that.
He loves me even though I tell lies.
"The Lurker" exposed!
Sweet forgiving children who are not scarred because of my ridiculous lies about fireworks.
They moved the fireworks.
They did not tell me.
We all shouted with exuberance and joy each time we saw the tippy top of a firework because sadly enough that's all we saw....
The stinkin' tippy top.
Next year, we are going to the National Mall in D.C. to watch fireworks.
Cause they don't move them.
Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July!
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."