Can she be 2 already??!!??

I can’t believe that Kinsley is 2 already!  Time really does fly by!  For her birthday, my parents came into town so we had a really low-key celebration with them.  It started with Ed and my dad spending the day before her birthday putting together her BIG present (a swing set)…it took 6 hours or so, but she loves it so much that every morning she has been waking up early and wanting to go “out” before it’s even light outside.  My parents gave her a sandbox, which she also loves, so between the swing, slide, and sand box, she wants to spend all of her time outside!

Then, on her birthday, she had her two year doctor appointment (complete with a shot!), which we made up for by taking her to Chuck-e-Cheese.  She enjoyed watching the characters sing and riding the rides, but I do think she was a little overwhelmed by it all.  After eating at Chuck-e-Cheese, we returned to our house for cake and a few presents (thanks Granny for the adorable outfit).  It was so fun this year as she knew what to do with a cake and how to open presents, and really understood the concept of it being her birthday.

So, to celebrate her 2 year birthday I am going to share some of Kinsley’s likes, dislikes, and things we absolutely adore about this sweet little girl.

Likes:  DANCING (to upbeat music), babies and being the momma, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, pushing her grocery cart or stroller all around the house, people (definitely gets this from her daddy),  reading (especially her “Jesus Storybook Bible”), anything sweet to eat, being outside, helping momma around the house, and watching “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.

Dislikes:  vegetables (she is not a great eater!), being woken up from her nap, having to sit still, being told no and not getting her way (she is 2, after all), and not having all the attention on her.

We are so blessed by the Lord to have the pleasure of raising this sweet little girl to know and love Him with all her heart.  She is talking more and more these days, which we love, because it allows us to see more and more of her sweet and sassy personality.  She is a nurturer, caring for her babies and everyone around her but she is also the life of the party, being quick to dance and entertain for anyone who will watch her.  I also love the random sweet moments when she stops and snuggles with me or runs over to give me a huge hug and kiss for no reason.  Underneath all of that personality (which the Lord did not hold back on when he made her), is a sweet, gentle little girl who we pray will come to know the Lord at an early age and follow Him as He guides her and leads her down the path He has for her life.  Happy birthday sweet baby girl!

Zoo Fun

This past week, Kinsley got to have two new and fun experiences with animals.  We have been teaching her a lot about animals lately, their names, what sounds they make, what they do, where they live, etc., so it was fun for her to see them in person.

#1 – My mom has a cousin on her side of the family who owns miniature horses.  One morning, we visited their house and Kinsley got a chance to see, pet, and ride the horses (as well as a few other animals).  While she liked them, she was way more interested in their cat!

#2 – With all the craziness going on with my granddaddy passing away, we decided to take one morning and go with my parents to Waccatee Zoo in Myrtle Beach.  While this isn’t your typical zoo in terms of size or attractions, we were amazed at how many animals they did have, as well as the great price for all you get.  We also got a bag of peanuts and I would almost bet money that my dad fed every animal in the zoo a peanut (with the exception of those that would eat him in return, like the bears, tigers, etc.).  They had kangaroos, big horned sheep, little squirrel monkeys, and ostriches, among many others.  If you don’t know me, I am deathly terribly (almost said deathly because if I came across one in the wild, I would surely die) afraid of ostriches.  Its a long story that stems out of a bad experience I had with them in college and then watching them step on their eggs and bite people on the show “Dirty Jobs.”  While I almost freaked when I found out they had them at this zoo, I managed to survive by not looking at them and pretending they weren’t there.  I will say that there is no way in the world I would let anyone I love anywhere near them, peanut or no peanut to feed them.  Ahh, it’s making my heart race just thinking about it.  So, moving on….

This next picture is of my dad feeding the turkeys.  He can make a sound that is remarkably close to the noisethey make, so close, in fact, that they start making their noise when he does his.  It was quite funny that he could get them to speak on command.  Kinsley just laughed and laughed at this.



The baboons were some of our favorite animals in the zoo.  When you gave them peanuts, they thought they should keep getting more and more, so they would motion at you to throw some their way by acting like they were throwing some at you.  If this didn’t work, they got real mad and made lots of noise.  One of the female baboons spent the entire time hissing at only me.  It could be because when mom commented that she looked like she had been nursing, I said that it looked like she had been nursing A LOT, because she was hanging low.  She must have heard and understand this (not sure if this is at all possible), because she had it out for only me the rest of the time.

Our other favorites were these baby lambs (I think?).  The babies were so new they still had their umbilical cords hanging and could barely walk.

Given that it is spring, every animal (at least every where we looked) was trying to mate.  Have you ever seen a male peacock try to attract a female peacock?  Well, I hadn’t either until last week.  It was actually really quite comical – the way they spread their feathers, the noises they make, and the way they shake their body.  I guess that is where the term “shake your tail feathers” comes from.  Poor guy, the female didn’t pay any attention to him, even though he was trying so hard!

The last two pictures are of Kinsley feeding the animals.  She really enjoyed it until she got headbutted by a goat that a zookeeper had on a leash.  Kinsley went up to the goat to feed him, after the lady said it was okay (she did laughingly say the goat may headbutt her), and he turned to her, lifted her off the ground, and back onto the ground with his little horns.  She did get a bruise from his horns and had no hesitations telling us she didn’t like the goats.  All in all, it was a great family day and very educational!

Life and Death

This week has been an emotional one.  Let me start with the high (or the Life).

This past weekend, we had a Spring Retreat (In place of a weeklong Spring Break trip) for our students in Eastern North Carolina.  We had 25 students, 1 volunteer, and 5 staff from 6 different campuses.  We held it in Raleigh, mainly because we were trying to make it as cheap and easy for students to attend as possible.  The theme of the weekend was Love God, Love Others, and Love the World.  The students got to enjoy hearing a few talks, talking in discussion groups, fellowshipping and eating good food together, spending extended time with the Lord, and spending their free time at Adventure Landing playing putt-putt and laser tag.  The students learned so many things about the Lord, about themselves, about others, and about how to reach their campus and the world.  I am excited to see how they take those things back to campus!

But the best part of the weekend was that we saw on the of the students there, a freshmen from Durham Tech, place their faith in Christ!  As 1 John 5:11-13 states “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  Praise the Lord that this student now has life!!  It is also a fun testament of how the Lord is moving in Eastern NC – as Kai, one of our other staff pointed out, we had one student at Spring Retreat who accepted the Lord last Fall Retreat, we had one student there who accepted the Lord last week, and we had one student accept the Lord there!  So fun to see the Lord moving!  This picture shows our students playing a game during the start of one of the meetings.

Now for the low (or the death).  My granddaddy’s health has been declining for the last 6 months or so, and like most older people, he had his good days and his bad days.  My mom called me this past Wednesday and told me he had been put in the hospital for a urinary tract infection and a high potassium level.  They ran lots of tests and couldn’t find much else wrong.  Then, on Saturday afternoon while we were at Spring Retreat, she called to say he had been put in ICU and had taken a turn for the worse.  Then, she called again later that evening to say he had passed away.  I was absolutely shocked as it was all really sudden and happened so quickly.  I am grateful that he didn’t suffer long and it wasn’t a long and drawn out death; but it is so hard to lose someone who has been in your life forever.

His funeral was yesterday and it was a wonderful celebration of his life.  One of Granddaddy’s nephews, John, is a pastor in Florida and performed the service and he did a wonderful job!  I was humbled, honored, and emotional when John suggested that I do the eulogy.  The Lord really gave me the words to say as I shared a few personal stories about Granddaddy that are dear to me, shared about Granddaddy’s faith in Christ, his hope that all of his grandkids would find a relationship with the Lord, and about the excitement I have in seeing him again one day soon in heaven.   When I got up there, I was so emotional and then the Lord gave me an immediate calm (I didn’t think about anything different so I know it was the Lord).  I am so grateful that my Granddaddy was such a lively, upstanding, loving man and excited to one day party with him in heaven.

Please continue to pray for my family as I know it will be really hard for my dad, aunt, and uncle.  They have been caring for him around the clock for the last 6 months so it will be quite an adjustment for them.  I can’t imagine losing my parents nor what they are going through, but I do know the Lord promises to comfort them so that is my prayer for them.




This past week, I have thought many times of updating our bog.  But, as you can see, it hasn’t happened until today.  Why?  I finally got sick.  While I managed to dodge all the vomit-can’t eat sickness that Ed and Kinsley got a while back, I wasn’t able to dodge this nasty cold.  And by cold, I don’t mean, sneeze a little, cough a little, give it a day cold.  I mean the achy, throat hurting, have no energy to get off the couch for a few days cold.  Praise the Lord it happened on the weekend when Ed could tend to Kinsley.

With that being said, I feel like all I did last week was survive.  I will share some highlights from the week.  One of these was from today, but hey, since I was out of commission the end of last week, it counts :).

1.  I was able to go to campus at Wake Tech and meet with a student and our faculty advisor to plan out the rest of the semester.  I also challenged two girls to join with us as leaders at their schools – Wake Tech and NC Wesleyan.  This was fun as it is an answer to prayer that the Lord raise up leaders at all of our schools.  This is still an ongoing prayer that I would love for you to join with me on.

2.  I completed this new craft project for Easter (thanks Pinterest!)  It called for a square vase but given that I have five ten laying around the house, I couldn’t see buying another one.  I was actually really pleased with how it turned out.  I got the flowers at Michaels when I had a coupon for $5 off $5 or more, which made them free.  The peeps and jelly beans cost about $4 total.  Not bad for a cute Easter decoration!

Did I also mention how excited I am to eat the leftover Peeps and Jelly Beans?  Seriously, Easter candy is some of my favorite – Jelly Beans, Peeps, Robins Eggs, Cadbury caramel egg.  Forgot the huge Easter dinner that fattens everyone up; just give me Easter candy!

3.  I think the biggest blessing in life this week was learning to slow down and just be.  I function every day off of a to-do list and due to feeling awfully miserable, I functioned for a few days without every looking at my to-do list.  For this multi-tasking, doing a million things a day mom, this was a huge blessing and a break. I also experienced a new appreciation for Ed as he took on the every-day tasks and let me just lay, without every complaining.  It could be because he gave the cold to me and he felt guilty.  Or it could be because he’s awesome and such a huge blessing!!