Thursday, October 25, 2012

Big Pumpkin Puppet Show

One of our very favorite Halloween books around here is Big Pumpkin.  It's a silly story about a witch who plants a pumpkin and wants to pick it on Halloween to make pumpkin pie.  Her problem is that the pumpkin gets so big, she can't pick it.  Various spooky friends stop by, and finally they get that pumpkin off the vine.  

Coleman especially loves this book.  So one afternoon he started drawing all the characters from the story onto paper and cutting them out.  When Andrew saw the characters, he came up with the idea for a puppet show.  They added popsicle sticks to the cut-outs and made a set from a diaper box.  I read the story while they each acted it out with the puppets.  They had a blast.  Here are a few pictures from the show.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Picking

One Saturday in October, we headed over to Ellijay to pick apples.  We tried out a new-to-us orchard, and we will be back every year.  The apple house had tons of great pre-picked apples along with other produce.  There were also lots of jams, jellies, ciders, and apple treats to choose from.  We started out in the orchard and picked a peck of Granny Smith and Winesap apples. 

This was Jonathan's first time to get to pick.  Last time we went to the orchards, he was still eating cheerios in his stroller!

See if you can figure out from the two pictures below who is the family ham.

Then we headed inside for a yummy lunch.

On the way home, each boy asked for an apple to eat.  They had a great time!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baptism Sunday

 Our family had the very best kind of day Sunday.  We celebrated Andrew's baptism with our family and friends.  Back in April, Andrew started asking lots of questions about salvation, sin and forgiveness.  Brent and I answered them each time, but didn't push him to make any decision before he was ready.  We wanted to be sure he understood the gospel completely - that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.  God knew it would be this way from the beginning, and out of His great love for us, He sent Jesus to rescue us from our sin and make a way for us to live eternally in Heaven with Him.  The only thing we have to do is humbly admit our need for Christ, and accept His free gift of salvation. 

One night after many conversations with me about salvation, Andrew and Brent sat down for a chat.  Andrew shared with his daddy that he knew he was a sinner and that the only way to be right with God was to ask Jesus to save him.  Brent asked if he wanted to do that, and Andrew said he already had.  He told us he prayed, "Lord, I know I'm not a perfect man.  I need you to save me."  The Bible tells us that all it takes to be saved is a childlike faith, so on April 11, 2012, Andrew was saved.

Last Sunday, Andrew was baptized, making his faith public.  It's not the water that saved him, but God's grace.  The water is an outward sign of an inner decision.  We were so blessed by our church family that day.  Andrew asked for Pastor Matt to baptize him, so here they are in their robes before the service.

Andrew was super excited before church.  Matt said he'd never seen anyone so "chatty" before being baptized.  Here he is heading into the pool.

We are so thankful for a pastor who is a friend to our boys, and to us. 

 After he came back up, the stool had floated away and he couldn't get his footing.

 So Matt just lifted him up for all to see.

 Here we are after church with Matt.

 And the whole family.

We headed home for a celebration lunch.  Fried chicken, bar-b-que sandwiches, slaw, potato salad and chips were on the menu.  

When Andrew was dedicated as a baby, Brent was asked to choose a verse to read over him during the service.  He chose Proverbs 3:5-6.  We thought it would be a great reminder for today as well.

 We ate lunch and then enjoyed chocolate cake and ice cream.

After cake, Andrew had a few gifts to open.  Gigi and Papack chose a devotion book for him.  He has reminded me for us to use it every morning before school this week.

Nana and Pop-O chose a cross for him that has Proverbs 3:5-6 on it.

He got several cards and gifts with which he can choose something special to remember the day.  Brent and I had a hard time figuring out something to get for him.  We wanted to mark the occasion in a special way, but for a six year old boy, it was hard to figure out what that would look like.  When he saw our gift, he cried, "Shotgun!"  Well, no.  It was not a gun.

It was his first Zebco grown-up fishing pole.  We decided to get that to remind him that he is now to be a fisher of men, just like Jesus told his friend Andrew in the Bible. 

Andrew, we are so proud of you for choosing Christ as your Savior.  We prayed for this many, many nights for over seven years.  It is our prayer now, that you will continue to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, just as Jesus did.  What a blessing you are to us.  We love you so much.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above."  James 1:17

Monday, October 8, 2012

Coleman, Age 5

 Coleman is loving age five.  This is such a big age in our house.  He'll get to do many new things this year.  Play tee ball, ride in a booster seat, attend his first GT game and start kindergarten!  Lots of excitement ahead!  For now though, here's a glimpse of our fabulous five year old.

Coleman has not lost one ounce of his passion for life.  This child has not the first bit of hypocrisy in him.  When he is happy, you know it.  When he is not, you know it.  Fairness is huge in his world, and he is the first to let us know if injustice is being done to him or anyone else.  He is genuine in his love and concern for others, especially those who are sick or smaller than he is.  Each day at preschool, he walks out with Jonathan and sweetly holds his hand all the way to the car.  For all his rough and tumble, Coleman is our most gentle and tender-hearted boy.  He loves to cuddle small animals and if a baby is around, he is completely content being close by and gently stroking its tiny feet. 

Coleman has a terrific work-ethic and loves to learn.  When he is home during Andrew's school lessons, Coleman wants some work for himself.  If I don't have anything for him right away,  he will get out some paper and pencil or markers and begin practicing his writing.  He listens carefully to me when I read our history or science or Bible lessons, and can often answer questions correctly.  Art is one of his great loves, and his creativity is amazing. Each week at the library, Coleman brings me books he has carefully selected from the shelves all by himself. He loves to be a helper and when he gets a new job to do at home, he does it with much care and pride.

He loves legos, playing outside, Star Wars, painting, drawing, bugs and worms, super heroes and his new orange bike.  He plays equally well with his older and younger brother and is a great "magic link" connecting the two.  Coleman has a great singing voice, and has started taking music with Ms. Pam this year.  He usually enjoys his practice activities and is always eager to do his assignments for class. 

His favorite color is still blue.  Favorite foods are bagels, multi-grain and honey-nut cheerios, Dad's chicken on the grill, cheese pizza, kiwi, apples, pretzel rods, peanut butter and crackers, sweet potato souffle, macaroni and cheese, and poppy-seed chicken.  Spaghetti and meatballs always gets huge praise when he sees it on his plate for supper!  He loves to eat at the Collegiate and Wendy's.  Family movie night and family reading time are two of his favorite events.  He loves to wear his penny loafers and he loves being dressed up.

I think his love language may be words of affirmation.  Coleman is constantly telling me how much he likes what I'm wearing, how nice my hair looks, or how pretty I smell.  He loves to compliment others and find nice things to say to people.  When we tell him how handsome he is, or praise him in some other way, he practically floats off the ground. 

Coleman Joe, you light our world in such a special way.  We all are better for being around your zest and zeal for life.  Your favorite song is "Nothing is Impossible"  from our choir CD.  You love to belt it out on our way to church or preschool in the mornings, and we love to hear it!  You and your brothers are proof in our lives that with God, nothing is impossible.  We pray that you will always know this and that no matter what your circumstance, you will always sing it out and live it out for those around you to hear and see.  We know God will use you and your passion in a mighty way.  We are blessed to be your parents.

"This is the LORD's doing.  It is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Football Fun

 Once again for Brent's birthday, the family went in to get him tickets to a home game at Georgia Tech this fall.  Since Coleman is now five, he got to attend too!  It was a fun Saturday with a big win, which is always nice.  Here are the pictures of our day. 

Kickoff was at 3:30, so we left home a little before lunchtime and stopped at Chick-fil-A on our way down.  We rode the train again.  Andrew was an old pro, but you can see how excited Coleman was!

When we got downtown, our first stop was the bookstore.  This was the first time Brent and I had been to its new location.  Coleman got to pick out a hat for himself, and Brent and I each got new GT t-shirts to wear.  Here are the boys walking onto campus.


We were really hoping to meet up with Buzz again this year so Coleman could get his picture made with him too.  While we were walking around on the street, I spied him trying to get a drink of water from a vendor.  He was very kind and posed with the boys for a quick shot.  It was pretty warm that afternoon, and Andrew said Buzz's back was soaking wet!

 Just some general silliness.

 A vendor had set up a booth for the folks to practice throwing at a target.  Andrew and Coleman both took a turn.  Here's Coleman.  You can see the ball heading nicely toward the circle target, but it fell a little short.  Also, please notice that his little self is in mid-air.  He jumps as he throws.  Sort of a combo basket/foot ball shot.

 And here's our resident qb.  Andrew is super proud of his throwing arm.  He throws really hard and spirals pretty well.  We're still working on accuracy.

 We walked up the hill and over to the Student Center and got to hear the band warming up by the fountain.

 Then we headed back across campus for a pic with the Tech tower.

 Brent wanted to sit a little higher up this year, so we did.  Here are the teams warming up.

 Gigi and Papack came and spent a fun day with Jonathan at the house.  When the boys got in the car to leave, they found a surprise waiting in their seats.  Gigi and Papack had gotten them each a pair of binoculars.  Or "binoclee-ers" as we like to say around here.  They were a big help. 

 This is how Coleman sat for most of the game.  Just about the entire second half he had his hands in his ears.  Every time Tech made a first down, they blew a really loud train whistle.  Truly, you cannot appreciate how shrill and loud it is until you've heard it.  Fortunately, Tech made lots of first downs that afternoon.  Unfortunately, that meant they blew the whistle a lot that afternoon.

 We got the boys a pretzel just before halftime.  They loved the band marching, and Andrew was really into the game all afternoon.  I made a picture of our scoreboard at the end of the day.

It was pretty much a blowout.  We loved it.  You probably don't remember, but the game we went to last year was a blowout too.  So both games Andrew Archer has attended, Tech has won really big.  Considering how our season is turning out, we think the folks in the athletic department ought to offer him season tickets.  Don't you?