Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Over the weekend I went to VR, our church youth fall retreat.  It's a weekend of fun, worship, messages, and bonding.  This was my first trip with my new group and my first chance to get to know them a little better. 

I've noticed some big differences between this group and my old one.  First off, the size is huge!  My old group had a core of 4 or 5 with our numbers peaking around 10.  This new group has at least 10 on Sunday mornings, but usually more like 18-20.  We got so big that we split.  So my new new group has had 2-5 on Sundays, but I like it because it's more comfortable and I think it gives the girls a chance to really discuss without interruptions from a larger group. 

Second, these girls are popular and not that my other ones weren't, but I can see a difference in personalities because of it.  Also the uniform for 90% of high school girls this weekend were leggings/yoga pants, oversized t-shirt, Uggs, Converse high tops, Nikes, or Chacos.  I hate "not pants" and that is pretty much all these girls wore.  I don't think they even packed a pair of jeans.  They did however do their hair and make up and I thought that was kind of silly too.

Last, these girls are still so young and I forget how long it took my other girls to reach a level of maturity where we could have serious discussions.  I want it for them so badly, but I also know it's a journey and doesn't just happen.  I'm excited to see how they grow over the next four years.

Also these girls love a good photo session.  Haha.

Sorority Squatters

Shannan!  My co-leader who is adored by the girls.  She's been with them about a year longer than I have and you can tell how much they love her.  Don't blame them, I love her too!

Cracking up because this is a  pose the girls do sometimes.

Can you believe we got them all in the air?

Last morning, wearing their shirts.

My two girls from our new small small group. 
We also had fun in the cabin.  And side note, girls are gross.  Maybe even grosser than boys.  Their stuff was everywhere, but worse was the food and trash they just didn't even care about mingling with their clothes on the floor.


I busted my butt going down this "slide" but it was so fun and I think the girls loved that their leaders were willing to be silly with them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

dress up

I told her to smile.

First time in a princess dress and she doesn't hate it.

Just two princesses.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

volunteering: bloom

Monday night we had the privilege of serving with our small group at bloom.  They help foster kids and provide for fostering parents.  We worked at the bloom closet.  It's a store where foster parents can get clothes, toys, school supplies, books, and more for the children they are fostering. 

The store is set up like a boutique and so well decorated and organized, I wish I had taken more pictures.  Everything is donated and then given to the families for free.  A few weeks ago our group donated clothing and shoes, diapers, wipes, and items like soap, toothpaste, etc. 

Monday night we helped in the store by organizing and tagging shoes, while the guys organized their storage pods of off-season items and then put fresh batteries in toys.  We had a great time!

And of course would love to do it again when our whole group can go!  I also hope it becomes a place I can take my own kids to volunteer as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

stone mountain

I grew up going to Stone Mountain with my family.  We hiked to the top, played at the park, and stayed late for the Laser Show.

When Corey and I were dating and then married living in Stockbridge, we quite frequently drove to Stone Mountain to hike and picnic.  Then we had Clark and we took him a couple of times, letting him walk up the mountain as a 1-ish year old.  Once we went for a friend's birthday and they had already hiked, but we still wanted to so we made it to the top in time to see the storm clouds rolling in and the winds picking up.  The walk down was intense and a little scary as a hard rain began to pour and it made the rock slick.  People were rushing to get down, afraid they'd be blasted by lightning, but Corey and I took our time because Clark was in a backpack carrier and Corey didn't want to break his foot on the mountain...again.

Then Oliver came along and we took both of our kids a couple of times.  We let Oliver walk before his 2nd birthday because of course we did.  Once we took them and I tried to tell Corey Clark wasn't feeling well and probably shouldn't make him go.  At one point Corey was carrying Clark on his back and Oliver in the front. 

On Saturday after a really long week, but finally having the van back, I asked Corey what he wanted to do that day.  Normally we end up at Sam's eating the cheap hot dogs and pizza and then walking around and hitting up a few samples.  He didn't have any ideas, so I suggested we pack a lunch and go to Stone Mountain.  The boys were super excited and Logan is at an age she can walk some, too.  We hiked the mountain first, which is always my and Corey's favorite.  The kids had fun, too climbing on rocks, jumping off rocks, and drinking Gatorade. 

Once we made it to the top, we let Logan run around like a crazy baby.  She loved the wind whipping her hair around and chasing errant rose petals from a likely proposal.

We watched two little girls hop around this circle of rocks and Clark wanted to try.  Oliver wanted to go next, but Corey didn't want them to be wet and cold the rest of the day.

After we hiked back down, we drove to the playground and ate our lunch.  The kids played for a bit after that and then we got back in the van to explore some more.  All the years we've been going, Corey and I never hiked the other trails.  We stopped and found this one that took us by a lake.  Across the way you can camp, which maybe we'll do someday.

One more stop at the Quarry Outdoor Museum.  Corey loves reading plaques and studying pictures.  The boys just wanted to climb on things and Logan just didn't want to be held or contained at all.  We did manage to get them to all look at the camera at the same time though.


Our trip is never complete without a walk through the Crossroads area, which is newish--maybe 10 years, and has restaurants, shops, and where you buy tickets for the train or ropes course.  We let the boys pick out some candy, Corey decided on fudge, and then we walked over to the field where you watch the Laser Show.  The kids did some more climbing and finally we were ready to go home.  It was such a great day with perfect weather and almost perfect behavior the entire time.  Sometimes I wished we lived closer so we could go every weekend.