Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jesus Loves Me

When we were in Virginia, Rob and I were asked to sing for the church services. While we were practicing Friday night, SaraGrace took an interest in the microphone, and she and Cheyenne sang their hearts out. They did so good, that they sang in church Sunday morning. If this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen, I don't know what is.

Here are the girls in their debut: "Shiney and Grace!"

~The Vaughns and Volpes in Virginia~

This past weekend, the Vaughns loaded up in the car and made the trek to Kerrs Creek, Va to visit some our best friends, the Volpes. The Senior Volpes were our neighbors for a while, and we really enjoyed spending late nights, having "church" at their house. Some great things happened because of those conversations. Then, the Junior Volpes moved in after the seniors moved to Va. Bryan, Christina and Cheyenne were our neighbors for a couple of years, until they were called to be on staff at their church in Va. It was a SAD day when they left, because we spent every day together. They would cook a lot, so we would eat a lot! Good times that will never be forgotten!

Anyway, we decided to go up for Cheyenne's 4th birthday. We left Thursday night, after some good dinner with the Burroughs at Cracker Barrel. Nothing like some good eatin' before a long trip. We stopped along the way to spend the night, and made it to the Volpes around 1:00 pm. After some catching up, we sent the boys to WalMart to get some cake supplies, and Cade got some "WalMart Chicken." Look what happened to him when he ate it:

Does that make you a redneck if your child loses his first tooth while eating "WalMart chicken?"

We spent the afternoon working on the cake, and then went to the church to spend some time with their youth.

Saturday was totally spent working on the cake. Can I tell you.....I HATE BUTTERCREAM ICING! I don't know why, but it refuses to work with me. Anyway, we got some of it done, and then it was time to go to the Senior Volpes for dinner. We had the best strogonoff you have ever eaten, and some cheesecake followed. We enjoyed great food and fellowship with them. They are AWESOME people who love serving the Lord. We had to get home, though, because we had a lot of work ahead of us. Christina and I were up all night, trying to get the cake done. We laughed so hard we just about peed our pants. But, here is our masterpiece:

Here is the birthday girl....Shiney:

Sunday was a day of great fun. We had a wonderful church service, followed by a really fun birthday party, then church again Sunday night. We met many nice people who just took us in and treated us like they have known us forever. A couple of them even tried to get us to move up there:) We were sad to go, but we had to get back and go to work.

Here are the kids (minus Ryker, who had enough of SG by this point:)) as we were getting ready to leave. I think they will be lifelong friends. They had a blast with one another.

Here is our family, ready to head back to Florida.
We were SOOO SAD to leave, but we will be back to visit soon! Ryker's birthday is in August, and he has already placed his order for his cake:)

Volpes: Thank you for having us the weekend. We had a blast! It was good spending time with you all, and we can't wait to come back for more! We love y'all!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Vacation 2009

It has been a long time since I last posted, so I have lots to post about. I'll start with our Christmas Vacation. Every year, for the past 7 years, it has been tradition that my family go on a vacation as part of our Christmas from our parents. We have been on cruises, skiing, and to the Bahamas, but this year it was pretty low key.

We headed to my Granny's house in Blairsville, GA at noon on Christmas day. We had a caravan of 3 vehicles, and TONS of luggage. Because this was a two-part vacation, we had to pack "two-part!" We had a great time on the trip up there, because the kids were wired with excitement from all of the morning's events....Santa, stockings, etc. We arrived in the mountains that evening, and settled in for the night.

On Saturday, the girls took SaraGrace to Babyland General Hospital, in Cleveland. Can I tell you, we have been going there since I was a little girl, and even now, it is like Disney to me. For those that don't know, Babyland General is where the original Cabbage Patch Kids are born. SG had the time of her life!

As you can see in the pictures, it is every little girl's paradise. There are dolls everywhere. The cabbage patch under the tree, is where the babies are born. They have a dr. who comes in and delivers the baby from the cabbage. Melinda got a real kick out of this, being a l &d nurse! SaraGrace got to name the baby being born her first name. After watching the birth, she went to the cabbages and picked one out....literally. After picking her baby out of the "TABBAGE", she had to go through the adoption process. She named her Baby Gracie. She signed the birth certificate, then changed her diaper. We couldn't leave without a stroller, a "niney" (blanket), diapers, bottle and extra pacis. This was definitely one of those things that will be a forever memory!

While we were adopting babies, the boys rode to the flea markets and hardware stores. They had a great time too.

Sunday, we went to Dollywood and Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge. We had a great time, even though it was FREEZING! The kids LOVED LOVED LOVED Dixie Stampede.

We have been several times, but never at Christmas. Let me tell you, if you haven't seen their Christmas show, you should put it on your list of things do. Their normal show is a rivalry between the North and South, with competitions between the two teams. But at Christmas, it is the North Pole and the South Pole. I thought at first I was going to be disappointed, but then came the "meat and potatoes" of the show.....the NATIVITY. We had no idea they did this!

From the ceiling came the stable scene. It had Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in the manger. It gave me chills! SaraGrace then told everyone that was Baby Jesus. It just melted my heart. Then came the shepherds and the sheep and goats. SG then calls out as loud as she can, "Hey Shepherd!" The wisemen came in on camels, decorated in elaborate glittery costumes. The camels knelt down along with the cast in honor of the King of Kings who laid in that manger. About that time, an Angel descended from the ceiling with full costume of feathery wings. She outstretched her arms and a dove flew to her from the other end of the arena. To close it out, a cast member sang "Oh Holy Night!" During the entire scene, the story of our Savior was told to a couple thousand people, straight from the Bible. Just Magnificent! We were speechless.

You know, as a Christian, I have to give some credit to Miss Dolly and her crew. In a time where everything has to be so politically correct, they took a stand and shared the story of the manger with so many people, not worrying who would get offended. We should all be more like that.

Then the elves from the North and South Poles competed on horseback for the title of "Winner". It was good time, especially for the kids.

After a little shopping the next day, we headed to Abbeville, GA...better known as the hunting camp. We were there to spend some down time, and to fill our freezer with a bountiful harvest! Believe it or not, I love to hunt. It is hard to be still sometimes for that long, but it is FUN! Rob and I hunt together and have a blast! I shot at a hog on Wednesday and missed it. We hunted for several more days and this is our bounty.

I thought this picture summed up our week.

It was a great week of r & r, but most importantly, it was a time to spend with family, and reflect on all that God has blessed us with.