Sunday, July 13, 2008


In case you haven't noticed, we were not very on top of blogging the past month and a half.  Between being out of town, taking care of the house, working, school, and just life in general... June and the first half of July have been a complete whirlwind.  

Out of this whirlwind a lot has happened, though, and we're excited to let anyone who doesn't know already that Nat has accepted a call to Bay Area Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Webster, TX!  Webster is just outside of Houston and is halfway between Houston and Galveston.  The process of searching for a call has been one with much excitement and emotions so we are thrilled that our prayers have been answered and that the Lord has led us to this church.  We know many of you have prayed for us and with us over the past few months, and we are grateful for that.  We'll be moving mid-August, so please continue to pray that all of the logistics of moving, settling into a new home and growing with a new church body will go smoothly and that we will glorify the Lord during this time.  

The next weeks will probably be a bit of a whirlwind also but we'll do our best to keep you posted :o)

The 4th of July

The Fourth of July was the first weekend that we were home in a month - each of the prior 4 weekends were out-of-town adventures.  We went for a bike ride earlier in the day and finished up with a cook-out with great friends, a fun game of Apples-to-Apples, homemade ice cream sundaes (from the ice cream ball) and a spectacular fireworks show (Charlotte's Red White and Boom could be easily seen from the CVS parking lot at the end of our street).  

Graham handled the fireworks amazingly well and actually seemed to enjoy most of them.  We were impressed considering the fact that we woke him up after an hour and a half of sleeping to wheel him out in his stroller for the show.  Last year he slept through it all.  He did, thankfully, fall right back to sleep after we brought him home!

100 Push Up Challenge

Nat and I are trying to do this program called the 100 push up challenge.  Supposedly, after 6 weeks of following a certain schedule, we should be able to do 100 push ups in a row.  We'll see how that goes :o)  Graham helped Nat out for this round!

Sorbet and Faces

Nat's been experimenting with the ice cream ball that my parents gave him a while back.  The experiment in progress for this picture was a lemon-rosemary sorbet.  It was interesting and Graham thought the ball was very cold!
Graham's getting the knack for imitating facial expressions.  He did a great job copying his daddy on this one!

Family Visit

We made a super fast visit to Richmond the other week and had the delight of staying with my (Shannon's) Aunt Judy and Uncle Jimmy.  The last time we saw them was at our wedding so we enjoyed catching up and Graham enjoyed meeting them for the first time!

Graham was amazed by their fish tank - it was at his perfect level too!  For a minute we regretted parting with ours... but only for one minute.

Cool Man Graham

Graham received this balloon from the birthday party and carried it around the house for a couple weeks until it lost its air.  
Before we went outside, Graham wanted a hat and sunglasses... We think he looks pretty stylish!


Our friends the Greers are moving to South Carolina in a few weeks so to celebrate their time in Charlotte and to send them off we had a luau.  

This is a picture of the people in our Life Group.  We have met with them to study the Word, to pray with and for each other, and fellowship with each other every Wednesday night this past year. 
Aloha Greers!

Turtles, Frisbees, and Friends

A couple of weeks ago, we went frisbee-golfing with the Dykes.  It's a heavily wooded course and so the (many) times that my frisbee went sailing into the woods I was extremely on guard in case a snake or giant spider appeared.  In one of these ventures into the woods I nearly stepped on a moving creature and, assuming it MUST be a snake, screamed as though I was being tortured.  It was, in fact, a turtle.  Once my heart stopped racing we took some fun pictures of Graham seeing his first live turtle.  I think he enjoyed it!
Bye-bye turtle!
Taking a short break.

Birthday Fun

Birthdays are so much fun and this one was no exception.  Elena turned 5 and we enjoyed celebrating with the Creasons, Waters, and Carpenters.  Happy Birthday Elena!
Isaac was teaching Graham how to drive.

Grammie and Pop-Pop!

While Nat and I were in Texas a few weekends ago, Grammie and Pop-Pop came to visit and to watch Graham.  Graham had a lot of fun learning about tools and how to drink out of a straw!  We know he received loads of love while we were gone!

Pittsburgh Roadtrip

Jordan Hackenberg, a friend of Nat's since he was a child, got married on June 14th and so we were excited to make the trip to Pittsburgh to witness his marriage!  For such a short weekend, we felt as though we did and saw a lot!

To get to Pittsburgh from Charlotte we headed straight up 77 for a good portion.  This took us right over the New River Gorge in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia where Nat has kayaked several times and completed a couple of triathlons.  We all needed a break from the car so we stopped at the visitors' center to walk around.  

This is a map of all of the rapids mainly upstream of the New River Gorge.  I'm still pretty impressed that Nat survived all of the times he ran the river!
A family shot in front of the New River Gorge Bridge.
The main attraction for Graham was this bright red fire hydrant!
Once we made it to Pittsburgh and had a bite of dinner we took a dip in the pool.  It was Graham's first experience in a big pool (meaning larger than a baby pool).  He wasn't so excited to begin with, but started to get excited after a few minutes.
Graham LOVED it when Nat blew bubbles in front of his float - it surprised him every time!
And what we came for... Jordan and Sarah's wedding.  It was a beautiful ceremony - we are excited to see how the Lord uses them as a couple!

After the ceremony the bubbles were a big hit and they came in abundance...
...which was good because the bride and groom's car wasn't working.  Pop and Bruce thought they'd take a look at it.
Justin and Carrie D'Antuano were also able to make it to the wedding - it was a special time to catch up with them since we have not seen them since before Graham was born!
Cheese :o)
We also had a good amount of time to spend with Mitch (Nat's brother).  Graham loves his uncle and always has a blast playing with him!
Some of our closest friends from Maryland are Jeremy and Hannah Hackenberg (brother of the groom).  We were thrilled to spend most of Saturday night with them and to meet their baby boy, Moses.  We miss them so much!
Graham was telling Moses all he needed to know about his first year of life.  Moses listened patiently :o)  We were amazed with how gentle Graham was with him!
A view of Pittsburgh as we were making our way home.
For lunch on the way home we stopped in Fayetteville, WV where the triathlon finished each year.  We were searching for a pizza place that we ate at the first year Nat did the triathlon (2002), but we were informed that it went out of business.  Down the street we found Pies and Pints which was delicious!
This is a picture of the courthouse in town.  What a beautiful day and a nice stop on the way home!

Girls' Night

Some good friends of ours, the Waters, moved to Blacksburg, VA a couple weeks ago and so Stephanie arranged a small girls' night before they left.  Thankfully, we saw them several more times after this, but it was a great night to enjoy each others' company!  

Family Time in Salem

Toward the beginning of June, we took a trip up to see my parents near Salem, VA.  They live in a beautiful area with a lot of land to explore and opportunities to be outside.  We had a great time visiting with Graham's "Gramma" and "Granddaddy" and, of course, Izzi the lab too.  
Graham loved sorting through the tupperware cabinet with Gramma...
And hanging out with Granddaddy...
Swinging in the hammock...
And playing in the pool they bought to have some cool-down time outside (it was a hot weekend!).
Who knew we had a musician on our hands?
Time to wind down... Granddaddy made some delicious homemade ice cream to enjoy at the end of the day!

Toy Box, Playgroup, and a DQ Addiction

One of Graham's favorite things is to dig through his toy box.  I think it's mainly for the challenge to lift the lid, hold the lid up while he searches for what he wants, and then get it out before the lid comes down.  This keeps him occupied for a while :o)
Every Tuesday morning, Graham and I meet up with some other families in the neighborhood who all have children within a year of Graham's age (and who live within walking distance!).  Since it's the summertime and at least one family has been out of town each week we were excited to get this shot of the whole group of kids.  Other than the nursery at church, this has been Graham's most consistent time of learning to interact with other children -- it's been so much fun to watch him and his buddies grow up!
We live on a dangerous street.  Meaning that there is a Dairy Queen at the end of it and we find ourselves there (conveniently) at the end of many walks.  Graham also knows when we've gotten ice cream and is learning how to beg...hmm.