Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sandy Cove

We were blessed to be able to go to Sandy Cove in 2009 after James returned from Iraq through Operation Oasis. We really enjoyed our trip and felt led to give back to the scholarship fund. but we had not been back to Sandy Cove until last week. I'm so glad we went back. It was such a refreshing time. We really enjoyed the activities, the food, the time as a family, the time as a couple. Just a wonderful blend of time.
The days followed this basic pattern
-James and I read Bible by the beautiful river (thankful for sleeping teens who can stay in room with sleeping kids.)
-brown bag devotion as a family (thankful for Sandy Cove making it easy and fun to do devotions)
-breakfast (thankful for kitchen staff who made delicious food and cleaned up after us :)
-tennis/ mini-golf
-worship time together as family- fun song, worship song, movement song
-adult worship/ teaching time while kids went to Club Cove/ Cross walk where they learned about God and had lots of fun playing games, canoeing, swimming, kayaking, ...
-spaghetti time- where couples had an hour-ish together to talk about lesson, hang-out, rest
-lunch (ditto above thankful for kitchen staff)
-rest/ fun family time- (thankful for so many fun activities- the marina was a family favorite. also pedal cars, archery, the blob, the pool, ...
-dinner (yum!)
-Club Cove or family fun depending on what we felt like
-evening activity- ice cream sundaes, rocket launching and rootbeer floats, reptile show, s'mores and campfire songs)

we loved the speaker Todd Wilson- the Family Man, the beautiful views, worshipping together, having time as a couple, not having to cook or clean ;) , the family devotions, all the fun together!

Maryland 2019

We got back Friday night from a wonderful week in Maryland. I'm praying to get pictures posted soon but wanted to write some of the highlights of our week while it's fresh (and before i get back into the day to day)

We left last Saturday 29 JUN which was 27 years after the day James and I met which was also R-day and 23 years after we got married. We left early and arrived in DC around 1 where we found out that the parking spot we'd so carefully reserved was an uncovered spot but you had to drive under a 6' high entrance to reach it. :( so we drove to the Museum of the Bible and found a spot right beside it!! Score!! We got a membership because it was not much more than one day admission. What an amazing place! Really neat to see the exhibits about all the reformists. The kids loved the kids' area which thankfully we saved for last or they wouldn't have wanted to leave. I do wish we'd gotten to take a guided tour- next time we'll make a reservation for that. and we'll spend more time on the 3rd floor but definitely glad we went. It was wonderful to see the "impact of the Bible" which showed the Bible's influence in areas like film, music, literature, history, government.

We walked the 1/4 mile from the museum to the mall and got tacos and philly cheesesteaks for a picnic on the mall. Then walked around looking at the monuments. Thankfully James thought of checking Ft Meade for hotel reservations so we stayed in a nice hotel for a much lower price than anywhere else. Thankful for our teens watching kids, James and I went to commissary and PX to get some needed snacks- including sushi and apple fritters for us and red, white, and blue popsicles for kids!

The next morning we drove to Baltimore. It was really fun to see the familiar sites from our Baltimore days as we drove to our old house. Then we all loved going to Sherwood Gardens. The kids climbed trees, threw frisbees, kicked soccer balls, and just loved being there. And we got some great pics! Then we drove to the Inner Harbor for more reminiscing and enjoying the view! The kids played for a while in a playground by the inner harbor that we'd last visited when c was just days old.

Next stop Fort McHenry- we love that place too! We had a picnic lunch complete with Nutella which kids first tried in Baltimore. James got his lifetime National Park membership which we'd been meaning to get. We got to do the flag talk with the park ranger, talk with a park ranger about artillery, see the musket and laundry demos, tour the fort, and watch the video. Good trip! Then we hit the road to Sandy Cove! Good day in Baltimore!

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Here are a few pictures from Christmas 2019

Whitman's sampler always reminds me of Christmas- Nola Grace (Nana's Mom bought those every year I can remember.) Now we get one each year!

We enjoyed checking out a museum in Fayetteville that we hadn't gone to in a long time- the Transportation Museum

I finally finished my parents' 50 year anniversary gift- fashionably late :) but I think they liked it

Another Christmas tradition- Nola Grace's cookie jars- where cookies mysteriously disappear quickly at Christmas

KG's thumbprint cookies- part of our Christmas around the world festivities this year.
c made Mexican hot chocolate- although everyone decided they like original (not spicy hot chocolate better
KG's cookies were from Germany
T made Swedish rice-malta
C made English Trifle
K made African nuts

We played lots of games- 10sies, 

Half Marathon

I recently completed the Mike to Mike all-american-marathon. This was my first half marathon in a long time- since 2010 I think when some friends and I ran the Battleship Half Marathon. I didn't take any pictures but wanted to record some lessons learned.

I followed Nike Training Plan pretty closely-I signed up for the race early and felt like I trained pretty well for the race but had some second thoughts as the race day approached. My biggest concern was that the longest I ran before the race was 11 miles. As I got close (and during the race) I wished I'd gone the whole distance before hand.

If I had run farther, I think I would have realized my nutrition shortfall. I've been eating very high protein, low carb. I really feel a lot better eating than way- I feel like my blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day instead of going up and down, but... I don't think I had enough carbs in my system to push past the 90 minutes of running. And I hadn't practiced consuming any during the race so I didn't have any race day. I really crashed. 

I also started out way too fast- 8:20/ 8:30 for the first couple miles. James had told me to take it easier at the beginning but I felt really good. and the race start/ crowd helped me not notice the hills. but as I got later in the race I realized my mistake. I ended up doing a bunch of walking during the last couple miles. My original goal was 8:50 pace but I didn't train hard enough for 8:50. I think if I'd started slower and had some carbs, I could have made 9ish but I'll train and run smarter next time.

I am so thankful that I can run. It's been almost 10 years since the orthopedic surgeon said I wouldn't be able to run anymore bc of my knees. Now they feel good!

Thursday, February 14, 2019


This young man is always all in. Whatever he's doing 100% in. He makes me smile and cry. He has a gift of leadership and passion. When he focuses his passion in the right direction, he does such wonderful things!
Even his plate is all in- he wanted a "kitchen sink" hamburger for his birthday dinner and it barely fits on the plate!

Crazy about his little brother. He also is a great helper at church. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Skiing 2019

We ended our 2019 ski trip with a family bonfire with hotdogs and s'mores. 

Love 70 degree picnic at the ski slope!

snowboarding is even more fun with friends

Our Manna friends after Friday morning breakfast at the hotel

Cute baby friend!

Little C's ski lesson gave me time to ride and ski with James

Two cuties and their cute photo bomber :) 

Our new photographer loved the Blue Ridge Parkway drive

KG and V spent time with Grandma!

Lunch with Grandma

Even with our 7 hours of skiing, we squeezed in two trips to the pool
K should be smiling- there's no line for equipment at 9!

Lunch with friends!

On 3 "Life Change"

We even got to ski together!

We had another great trip skiing this year! You can't beat the homeschool discount. Our 3rd year in a row. We were sad that KG couldn't ski this year but she and V enjoyed their time with Grandma.
We always have some lessons learned from our trip- this year:
1- always ask for the lesson for all the kids- and next year have everyone take the lesson!
2- there's no line for check in at 9!
3- there's a microwave at the hotel lobby
4- pack sunscreen
5- wear knee braces if you need them

$1 parking
$5 big locker (plus $5 deposit)
$24  per person to ski, $32 per person to snowboard (inc 8 hour lift pass, rentals, 1 hour lesson)
Ski Appalachian
French Swiss Ski