Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Getaway - Final Part

Alright, it's about time I finish this series before I forget. So, we went up to Reddish Knob to watch the sun set about 10 1/2 years ago. When you are at the top of the mountain after the sunset, you can look to the west and see the night; then look to the east and see the end of the day. So we really wanted to try and experience this again.

Brian couldn't remember exactly how to get there so I did a search on the Internet (because we all know everything on the internet is TRUE) and found some directions for us. So after a filling dinner at Outback, we headed out to find Reddish Knob.

The directions seemed to prove true as we took the first few steps of the trip. The directions said to stay on a certain rural road (6-hundred something, well, it didn't actually say 'hundred something' but I just can't remember all of the numbers now) until we run into a different road (9-hundred something) which takes us to the ridge. Well, all of a sudden, a street sign says that this 6-hundred something road makes a sharp left and you have to turn to stay on it. If you don't turn, then you are on a 2-hundred something road. So of course, I thought we should follow the turn and stay on the 6-hundred road. But Brian said, "honey, that's going away from the mountains, we should stay this way and go towards the mountains." (Me - yeah - whatever.) So after a few minutes we see a small country store and I beg Brian to stop and ask them directions so we won't miss the sunset.

He comes out from the little store and says that the man inside said the directions were wrong. He said we were going the right way, all we had to do 'was to stay rite thar on that 2-hundred road til you come round that yonder mountain, then take a sharp left and you're thar.' Oh - OK.

So we go round that yonder mountain and it was hard to find a real sharp left. I thought there was a sharp left but Brian didn't think that was it and saw a different sign to follow. I didn't actually see the sign he saw but he promised that it had "Reddish Knob" on it with an arrow. But which way was the arrow pointing, I wanted to know?

So we keep winding and winding on this lonely, narrow road. At times, I thought we were even going down. I kept asking if this was the right way ... are you sure ... Well, then we started going up ... and up ... and up. Let me just inject here, that I'm not that big on heights. I don't like to fly (more like won't do it because I'm scared), I don't like high bridges, I don't even like the shaky stairs on the big slide at the County Fair because it has a teeny rail that I could just flip over in a secon if I slipped the wrong way.

But anyway, as we're going up I look off to the side of the road and there is nothing there but the tops of trees. Ohhhhh! I can't even see the bottom of the ravine. Just one slip of the wheel and we're toast. Those teeny old trees won't stop this car! I keep asking him to slow down (although he's already going really slow, or so he says but I'm too sick to get a good look at the speedometer) and then I had a serious thought. What if this isn't the right way? There are no turn arounds here and there's nowhere to turn this big ole car! I ain't going down this steep mountain backwards! If we are in the wrong place I'll just have to walk down and meet the car at the bottom.

But since we can't turn around, we just keep going up and up. And I start feeling sicker and sicker ... I kind of lay down so I can't really see where we're going anymore. Then I sit up and look out in front of the car and all I see is the sky. What? Just the sky? There was this surreal feeling like we were flying (which I hate) but we were in a car (which is worse than a plane if you're in the sky). I just laid back down and closed my eyes. I don't remember all of this drama from before but I guess I have just gotten a little more skittish as I have gotten older and gotten life insurance, ya know?

But finally we made it to the top and I got over the sickness and was able to enjoy the beautiful view. Brian captured some pretty shots of the sunset. It was a wonderful to spend the evening, once we got up there! And I will have to say that the trip down was much more uneventful, probably because it was dark and I couldn't see the danger we were in ...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekend Getaway - Part 2

Well, I had better finish this post before I forget everything from the weekend. One of the things I really enjoyed was the ride to and from Harrisonburg. We listened to several podcasts of Mark Driscoll, John Piper, and C.J. Mahaney - mostly from the recent Resurgance Conference in February. It was refreshing to hear such passionate preaching and then be able to discuss it together as a couple.

Once we arrived in Harrisonburg on Friday, we checked in at our B&B. Brian then had the bright idea of us walking the few (LONG) blocks to the JMU campus. (Hello? Remember we just ran 6 miles earlier in the day?) But the weather was sunny and beautiful so I obliged and we headed of to campus. It was nice to walk around, well really not 'around' - more like 'up' and 'down' - that campus is very hilly. During our mountainous trek, we shared memories together and I asked all kinds of questions about his college days. But after a while, I started getting tired, because, remember, we ran 6 miles earlier in the day!

So then we headed to Outback for supper! Yummo! It was nice to sit down together to a meal that I didn't have to cook or clean up! We definitely ate some good food while we were gone, while sharing some good conversation at the same time. But the best story comes after dinner on Friday...

Ten years ago we drove up to Reddish Knob, the highest summit in Northern Virginia. It has a 360 degree view where you can see into West Virginia. If you are there during the sunset, you can see day and night at the same time. We wanted to make sure that we went to Reddish Knob during our visit... and we did!

Come back tomorrow and you can hear all about it!

Here's a pic of Brian on top of Reddish Knob!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekend Getaway - Part 1

This past weekend Brian and I had the opportunity to sneak away for a couple of days to celebrate our 10-year anniversary (which was in December but that time of year was too busy to get away). I guess 'sneak' isn't the right word because it did take a bit of planning and coordinating schedules ... But we were able to get away from the stress and busyness of work and church responsibilities for a couple of days ... and it was pure bliss.

Brian's parents, PawPaw and Granny, graciously offered to keep the kids for us - all 4 of them! I don't know who was more excited, the kids or the grandparents. The kids have spent the night over there several times but we've been in town those nights so this was the first time we were actually going out of town alone since we had Coleman 7 years ago.

Our weekend began on Thursday evening when we took the kids over to PawPaw and Granny's house and helped get them get bathed and ready for bed. Then we went home to our house ... alone. Sad to say that we did some 'work' then. We did take some time out to watch LOST but then Brian finished preparations for his Sunday teaching and I caught up on laundry. I knew that we would need to actually go out of town to truly get a break because if we are home, we are tempted to work on something, like that neverending laundry basket.

Friday morning we slept in a little, until about 8:00 a.m. (So sad to me that I consider 8:00 sleeping in ... when we were first married we could sleep in on Saturdays until 10 or 11 ... often times the phone would ring and we would try our hardest to not sound like we were asleep ... people would always ask 'Did I wake you?' and we'd say 'No, of course not, we just sound like this in the morning ... ). Sp after we slept in until 8ish, we went on a 6-mile run together in preparation for the 10-K in a couple of weeks. It was fun to run together, although Brian had to run at a slower pace because I wanted to pace myself to make sure I could make it the entire 6 miles. I was nervous about adding that extra mile but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I actually felt pretty decent afterwards.

Then we showered and got packed up for our overnight. We headed out and stopped to eat lunch at Chipotle for the first time. All of you out there who have eaten there and haven't told me about it yet - well, Shame On You! It was very yummy and I can't believe that we've been missing out! If you've never been there, it's basically a Rich Person's version of Taco Bell and I am telling you now that you Need To Go! We both enjoyed the burritos and will definitely dine there again. Huge fans!

After a delightful lunch, we headed off to Harrisonburg, VA to spend the night at the Joshua Wilton House. Harrisonburg is the home of JMU, which is where Brian went to school. I visited him there pretty often the fall before we got married and we haven't been back to visit since we got married 10 years ago. We were looking forward to see how the school had changed and reminiscing about old times.

To be continued...

Brian on the JMU Quad

Me in front of the Joshua Wilton House

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Uncle John!

Happy Birthday Uncle John!

Sorry most of these pictures are a little old - but you still look the same! I wish you guys lived closer so we could eat some of that chocolate cake Mom is probably making you, not just for the cake, but for the fellowship too!

We miss you but are so proud of the godly father and husband you have become. We pray continued blessings over you and your sweet family. We miss you all! So glad Claire has started a blog so we can see more updates!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life Has Changed...

Sooo proud...

Did I do something wrong?

(At least she's cute in the midst of her mischief...)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Visit From Georgia

Last week we had a visit from my parents. They came up from Georgia to spend a few days with their Virginia grandkids. We had a fun-filled, busy week. The bigger kids were excited to show off their school work to Mimi and Mac. We all went out to eat together several times and shopped at Sam's and Target. We had beautiful weather while they were here and were able to enjoy some time outside as well.

Mimi and Mac with the kids on the swing in the backyard.

We went to a duck pond one day. Here is Calvin feeding the swans.

Calvin Mac and Mac

Coleman and Emmie decided to brave the big birds... (see story below)

Coleman and Emmie were excited about going to the duck pond until we actually got there and saw the huge swans. They were having flashbacks to a few years ago. When Calvin was a baby, we all went and met Brian at work. We had picked up lunch and went to eat at a table by the lake. While we were eating, a huge flock of geese saw we had food. They started coming our way ... then they started honking and running towards us, intent on getting to our food no matter what. It's a little scary when 25 large geese come running towards you so we grabbed the kids and the food and ran to the safety of the van!

Apparently Emmie and Coleman remember that and weren't too sure about the big birds at the duck pond last week. But after they saw that the rest of us had remained unharmed, they gathered up the courage to come and join us as we fed the birds! Turned out to be lots of fun!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Respectable Sins

Lately I have been reading "Respectable Sins" by Jerry Bridges. It's been a slow read for me, although it's not necessarily a hard book to read. It is taking me some time because I keep re-reading parts, hoping that the repetition will help me retain many of the truths shared in the book. (Tim Challies has a thorough review of the book here.)

Bridges shares in the Preface that "the motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more 'refined' or subtle sins."

It is easy to try and classify sins while trying to minimize my own, often thinking my sin isn't as dreadful as the sins of others. Yet I still need to focus on the Gospel as I seek the power of Christ in dealing with the many 'respectable sins' in my life.

Bridges doesn't get into the discussion of specific 'respectable sins' until Chapter 7. By that point I was ready to read about them and know how to conquer certain ones in my life, thinking there may be only 1 or 2 that I would need to study. Because I'm not that sinful right?

Oh - so wrong! Each chapter brought more awareness of the subtleness of the sin in my heart. As I kept reading each chapter I would think "surely I can't just sit back, relax, and read the next chapter without any conviction"... But not the case. Each chapter has brought to light areas in my life that I need to be on my knees about. Although I have finished the book, I am going to review several chapters again for deeper study.

One of the things I love about Bridges in this book is that it is centered on the truth of God's Word while sharing practical ways to deal with these sins. He writes with humility and grace. There is hope in the Gospel - and for that I am thankful!

Read it when you get the chance!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Wow! It's been a while since I've posted. Life has just been ... well, life! I got strep throat a couple of weeks ago and that knocked me out for about 3 days. That means that everything got behind a little and well, you know how that goes.

I had to take it easy that week with running but I got back to the grind last week. A couple of weeks ago I ran my first 5-mile run! I can't believe that. This past Saturday I tried another 5-miler (on a flat route) and I completed it just a couple of minutes behind my husband! But I will have to say that the last mile seemed harder. I'm at the point that I feel pretty good after my 4-mile runs, but after the 5 miles ones I feel a little nauseous!

The 10-K is in about 4 weeks! Should be exciting!

Oh yeah! Kim wants some of us to run a 10-miler in the fall and I agreed before I really thought about it. I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into...