I just don't go to this park alone.  Yes I know there is a gate that surrounds the majority of it.  Yes it is probably okay.  But four kids in four directions is just too much stress because it is big and awesome and THEY NEVER STAY TOGETHER!  So we go when we take Bebe (my mom).  My Mom is awesome and I hope one day to be the kind of Bebe she is.  She had a great teacher she learned from her Mom my Gammie.  At Gammie's funeral all the cousins quickly learned that we had each thought we were our Gammie's secret favorite.  And yet knowing her she loved us all with all her heart.  I'm sure this is what my kids think of their Bebe that they are the secret favorite grandchild because of course she would never say it out loud.

This day was full of climbing, hanging, sliding, climbing, jumping, and running (and yep I was right in four different directions!)
Then we took a short walk to explore the trail by the river.  This time the kids found odd and very large seed pods.  It is funny to me that things have to basically die and get disgusting before new life can emerge.  It's God way of doing things.  I still don't get it but he is very good at bringing life from the dead so I guess it's his way of showing it to us in nature and giving us hope for our own dead and disgusting places within our souls.  Lessons everywhere...didn't plan this one!

I want to see what these seeds become when the tree is alive and green and flourishing.  The kids opened all the pods they found and "planted" as many as they could.  Maybe they will take root and grow and maybe I'll find out what kind of tree it is one day.

Car Truths #1

Here is the thing about movies they are some of the greatest analogies for the greatest love story ever lived.  In the last two weeks Caroline has picked up enough understanding to know that most of the other little girls around her are infatuated STILL with two princesses Elsa and Anna.  It was suggested to me by my sweet sister to let Caroline watch the movie(insert her evil laugh here!) . Well goodbye Einsteins hello Frozen! The girl gets obsessed.

The Cd is back in the car too so all the songs are being sang at the highest volume possible.  So if it's going to be playing I might as well make it a teachable moment.  The trolls are my favorite because their song contains well...truth.  

The end of it goes like this"We aren't saying you can change him
'Cause people don't really change
We're only saying that love's a force that's powerful and strange
People make bad choices if they're mad or scared or stressed
But throw a little love their way, and you'll bring out their best
True love brings out the best

Everyone's a bit of a fixer upper
That's what it's all about
Father, sister, brother
We need each other
To raise us up and round us out

Everyone's a bit of a fixer upper
But when push comes to shove
The only fixer upper fixer
That can fix a fixer upper is

Now I can tell you that people just can't change themselves and neither can anyone else change them...but TRUE LOVE can. Not the true love that comes from messed up people like me or you or that handsome fellow you live with or see in the hallways near your locker. The trolls were telling truth we are ALL fixer uppers.  None of us are perfect and because of that fact none of us can offer absolute perfect true love to another all the time

So what is this true love you may ask...well the best explanation I've ever heard of love in it's perfect form goes something like this, "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

So 5 minute car truth went something like this... (Turning off music in the middle of the Troll's fixer upper song...Caroline gets upset and has no idea why I turned off her song)
Me: "Can you love someone perfectly?" 
Jack, "No"  
Me: "Why not?"
Savvy: "We mess up"
Me: "What does it mean to be a fixer upper?" (Helps that they have seen the Fixer Upper Show)
Savvy: "You make things better"
Me: "What does the song say makes people better?"
Jack (our Casanova): "True LOVE"
Me: " Who offers us true Love?"
Both: "God and Jesus" 
Me: "That's right" "Why is his Love TRUE LOVE?"
Savvy: "It's perfect"
Me:  "Yep.  Only Jesus who was perfect could love us perfectly.  And His TRUE LOVE is a fixer upper.  Because you can't earn love..it's always a gift."  "Who can you love today?"
Kids: "Names friends and teachers"

Turn back on the song Caroline gets happy again and I'm thankful for a moment of truth in the midst of a crazy morning.

SDC | Silver Dollar City | Little Bits of Bravery

The last time we visited Silver Dollar City was two years ago.  It is always amazing to me how time can erase memories in little ones.  And at least with me dull memories that I wish would last forever.  This is one reason if not the biggest reasons I try to keep up with this blog in some sort of fashion is that I know that my mind won't always recall these times and even though the days seem long they are filled with goodness.

This trip was our first out as a family of 6.  It was a last minute decision to go.  Hotel rooms were scarce at least hotels with an INDOOR pool which is what I promised and that led to our most hilarious adventure of the whole trip!

We stayed at a place that online looked ideal.  But until you check in you  just never know and the unseen is what I always fear and this hotel did not disappoint.  This hotel was doing so well that they bought the hotel right next to them (down a hill) and renovated it and called it building #2.  They forgot to mention this part!  Building #2 had an OUTDOOR pool and well the weather that weekend was beyond chilly it was downright COLD!  We didn't bring extra footwear or coverups or extra jackets and I didn't want any of our clothes that we would be wearing to Silver Dollar City the next day to be wet or damp and I PROMISED we would swim.  So as quick as we could we jumped in the car (in only our swimsuits) and drove up the hill the building #1 jumped out and ran in.  The kids loved the pool and swimming as only kids can do because their brains are not fully developed.  But their lips didn't lie...they were blue and the kids were cold!  We got in too (make memories with your kids people say!) and immediately regretted our decision.  After Caroline was visibly shaking we said that is enough and made every one get out and cover in the tiny hotel pool towels.  You know when you know you are doing something really dumb you just can't help but to laugh uncontrollably ...well that was us laughing all the way back out in the drizzling cold to our car in just our swimsuits and tiny towels to drive back to building #2.  Thank goodness hotels don't run out of hot water because we all got showers to warm up!

The next morning we headed to Silver Dollar City and surprisingly even Luke could ride most of the rides the kids were brave enough to try.  The were all amazed like they had never set foot in this place before.  Caroline and Luke talked about the "creepy" guy in the jail for the rest of the weekend and we fully enjoyed the classics as well as the new firehouse rides.  Then the five year olds and Savannah went on one REAL rollercoaster with parents before it was time to leave for the day.

We left plenty to do for next time and had a great day!

Mountains and Valleys

Today I get to joy of sharing with you about my cousin in law.  And sweet lady friend who has an incredible heart to love others through her music.  Her name is Jordan, a Mama, a wife, an artist, and a songwriter.

Mountains and Valleys we have all been in both places and and the truth is to be in one you have to know the other.  They can't live separate and neither can we.  Jordan is in the middle of making her second album and I wanted to give all of you a chance to hear a clip and maybe help her finish it.

She has a kickstarter project going right now and she is closing in on her goal. The way kickstarter works is that she has to reach her goal by April 22nd or the funds are not given.  All of the options to give include either a download of the album or a physical CD and I for one can't wait to hear all of it.  For now here is a taste and her story of what this album will be made of.

Click here to Check out Mountains and Valleys!
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