Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break

We were all so excited about Spring Break! A few warm and sunny weekends had given us Spring Fever, so we were hoping to spend lots of time outside! We were also looking forward to our first trip to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta ~ Lauren and I had even convinced the guys to do a little shopping while we were there! We all had to laugh when we saw the forecast for the week...
Snow!!! Three days in a row! I have to admit that I really didn't believe it, because we have had very little snow this year, but we had more snow than we have had all winter. It only flurried here, but the counties around us had anywhere from 5-10 inches. Our plans for playing outside in the sunshine came to a screeching halt. It didn't keep us from having fun, though!
The first day was lots of fun! After spending the morning playing racquetball, the guys spent the afternoon constructing a volcano.
Jonathan could hardly wait for it to dry!

We all enjoyed watching the volcano erupt! Thank you Uncle Anthony and Aunt Jenny for the great gift!
Lauren, Andrew and I enjoyed a little shopping in the morning. While we were out, Lauren picked up some sewing accessories, and she spent the afternoon making a tote. It is SO cute ~ I just love it!! She loves to sew, and everything she makes is awesome!
We had enjoyed our snowy days, and we were all ready to head to Atlanta on Wednesday morning, until....Lauren woke up with a fever. It all went downhill from there. Joe and Andrew were already fighting colds, which were manageable. But, later that afternoon, Joe started feeling sick, and the next day, it hit me! Lauren is the only one who had a fever, but all three of us have had flu-like symptoms. As I am typing this, Joe and Lauren have taken Andrew to the doctor ~ he has been crying with his ears, and we are afraid to wait until tomorrow. I just hope Jonathan remains well!!
So, needless to say, the last three days of Spring Break required lots of this...
The kids did get outside yesterday with Joe. I opened the windows in my bedroom, and the fresh air, along with their sweet voices and laughter, helped me to feel a tiny bit better. I am just hoping we all get to enjoy our church's Easter service, along with our family get together tomorrow!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Karyn Williams Concert

In late August of last year, I had the opportunity to meet singer/songwriter and Christian recording artist, Karyn Williams. God has been behind every detail of our friendship, and I would love to share the story... 

I almost always listen to Christian radio in my car, and this August morning was no exception. I had dropped Lauren and Jonathan off at school, and I was listening to the hosts of the morning show on 106.9 The Light interview Karyn Williams. She was talking about her debut album, "Only You". She told the story of writing her album's first single release, "Rest in the Hope", after struggling with her father's diagnosis of a rare form of  cancer. This really caught my attention, as my daddy was struggling to get through his last radiation treatments for throat cancer. I sat in my driveway and listened to every word of that song ~ it was beautiful! After playing the song, they announced she and her husband, Brian, would be having a meet and greet at Family Christian Bookstore that afternoon ~ the day of her album's release.

I had so much to do that day! My house desperately needed to be cleaned, and I had tons of laundry to do, but I couldn't shake the "tug on my heart" ~ the one urging me to go and meet her! I finally decided I just needed to go. I needed to quit finding excuses not to, and just go.
I was really embarrassed to show up in my sweats and hat, but I had waited too long ~ if I had taken the time to clean up, I would have missed them. I should have listened to my heart a lot sooner!!

We shared our stories, we cried, Andrew and I listened to them sing, and we promised to stay in touch! And we did! We connected on Twitter, and that was the way we kept up with each other for almost six months. Earlier this month, she contacted me, asking me if I might be willing to help her find a church in Asheville that might be willing to host she and her band. She was invited to perform at a YMCA event at the Blue Ridge Assembly on a Thursday night, but her Friday night plans had been cancelled, and she really wanted to turn it into an opportunity to minister to others! I couldn't have been more excited!!! After several phone calls, the concert fell into place ~ God had a plan!!!

I am sure I overwhelmed my Facebook friends with Karyn Williams posts that week, but I really wanted everyone to meet her ~ to have the opportunity to hear her music! She truly loves the Lord, and her voice is just as beautiful as her heart! She and her husband have a true gift for songwriting ~ it's amazing!
The concert was awesome!! I was just so excited to see her again ~ she is such a precious friend! My family and friends were so happy to finally meet her ~ I have raved about her for months!!
Emily Shackelton-James and Alan Luster performed with Karyn that night. They are incredible musicians!
 Sweet Sophie with her autographed album!
 Everyone who attended the concert absolutely loved it!!! Family of Faith Fellowship is planning to have her back in September, and my church hopes to host her very soon!!

Thank you, Karyn, for allowing me to be a part of such a special night ~ so many people were touched by your heart and your music! I am so thankful God brought us together ~ we have a special friendship that I will always treasure!

School Night Sleepovers

Over the course of six weeks, three different families asked if their sweet kids could stay with us overnight! Each time, one of the nights was a school night, and all of the kids thought that was awesome!

Taylor and Dylan's mom had to have ankle surgery. They stayed with us on a Sunday night since she had to be at the hospital early on that Monday morning. The sleepover and the surgery both went well!
 Jonathan's face cracks me up! I'm not sure he was awake.
Two weeks later, Olivia and Sophie came to spend the night. Their parents were in Seattle for four nights on a work related trip. The original plan was for them to stay with us on Saturday night, but unfortunately, Lauren was really, really sick with strep throat, forcing a change of plans. They came over late Sunday evening and spent the night. It was another fun evening for the kids ~ relaxed, but fun ~ pizza, board games, and a movie!
Our last overnight guest was our neighbor, Jordyn ~ her parents were in Miami for four days on a work related trip. It was a really busy, but extremely fun weekend at our house! As an only child she is used to a quiet house, but she loves the loud Zavaglias!!!
 I posted these two photos on Instagram...
 The Karyn Williams concert was awesome ~ the kids loved meeting her!
Celebrating a soccer win with TCBY! So yummy!

We enjoyed our time with these special friends!! I wonder if their parents would be up for a night or two with three extra kids... Ha ha!!!

Spring Soccer

We are full swing into soccer at our house!

Jonathan is playing for ABYSA, and he loves it! He has several friends on his team and a fantastic coach!
Lauren is playing on two teams ~ her middle school team and an ABYSA team. She loves every minute of it! Soccer is her favorite sport, and she is more than ecstatic to be a part of the middle school team! We were all excited for her to make the team ~ her first school team!!!
#12 ~ warming up before her first game
She missed the first game of the season because she was sick with strep throat.
Her ABYSA games are on Saturdays. She and her friend, Lizzie, are the only two girls on the team! Lizzie's grandfather, who likes to be called Pop, is their coach, and the whole team loves him!! They are a really fun group to watch!
The only thing that would make these games more fun would be warm days!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Skiing Sugar Mountain

We have had very little snow this year, but we decided we couldn't wait any longer for snow skiing! Our friends, the Newtons, met us at Sugar Mountain, in Banner Elk, and we made the most of it!! These are all iPhone pictures, and we were skiing at night, so they are not great ~ but at least we have the memories!!
 The Newton family ~ love them!!!
Our family minus the little guy!
I posted this to Instagram ~ it is my favorite photo of the evening!! Love these sweet kids!!!
Jonathan was too hard to video! He never would let me get in front of him!! I am so proud of Lauren ~ she gets better and better with each trip!

I had not been on snow skis since Andrew was born! Oh, how I have missed it!! Joe took Jonathan back up to Sugar a couple of weeks later, and it was covered in snow ~ even the parking lot!! Lauren was really, really sick that weekend, or we would have been there with them!! Thank you Grammy and Grandpa for taking such good care of our little guy! Next year we hope to take him with us!!

Light Green Belt

Several weeks ago, Jonathan tested for his Light Green Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He was so excited when he found out he had passed! 
Mr. Tener and Ms. Jones presented him with his certificate.
Sophie also passed her test! They couldn't wait to get those new belts on!!

Jonathan was also excited because he had new sparring gear, thanks to Beverly and Brendan ~ they were so sweet to pass it on to us!!
Jonathan, I am so proud of you! You really worked hard to learn all your one-steps and your form! You really amaze me! I am so glad you enjoy it so much!