Jul 31, 2008

Saying Goodbye

This past weekend was very special to us. It was our goodbye weekend to many of our friends and "family" in Anderson. We started on Saturday night with a going away get-together our friends Thomas and Stephanie and Jeff and Sarah Ellen held for us. We had a cookout and spent the night playing Rock Band, which my husband is now totally addicted to! It was a great time of just being together, laughing, and having fun. (Sorry about the funky spacing on this post ... sometimes, it's just not worth it to fight with Blogger!)

Jeff & Thomas - our grill masters for the night

Jason playing bass

The boy band

Chicks rockin' out!

My face every time I messed up - you saw this a lot!

Stephanie after she accidentally whacked me with the drumstick!

Amber was incredible on the Bon Jovi song!

Amber & Camryn watching the action

Camryn played the drums with a little help from Daddy

Sunday, our last day at Covenant, we said goodbye to the awesome people at our church. We had well over 70 people singing in the choir, Jason and the choir got a standing ovation, the worship choir, praise band, and praise team presented him with a plaque for his service to the music program, the church gave him a monetary gift, and a reception was held in our honor. I don't think I stopped crying all day. We LOVE the people at Covenant and are so blessed to have had them in our lives for the past 7 years!

Our college "kids" who we just adore!
Sunday morning worship at Covenant

Jason's going away present from the Austins

Oreos on the windshield - nice touch ... and soooo hard to clean off!

Sunday evening presentation and reception. I think some people are more sad to see Camryn go than anyone - she really raked in the going away gifts that night!

Jul 29, 2008

Pool Days

We started out the summer going to the Hammetts' pool a couple times. Now we are there EVERY day!!! We keep adding more people to the party, as we started out with just a handful, and now we have a whole crew in the pool! We're having an AWESOME summer!

Emily & Sarah

Me & Sarah Ellen sunning and chatting

Em making fun of my husband - too funny!

8 people diving for dive sticks - it gets ugly at the bottom!

Boys playing - Thomas ...

K Moon ...

Jason ...

Jeff ...

... and Thomas again

SE, Steph, and me

Jul 28, 2008

Photo Shoot

As a going away gift, one of my sweetest friends from church, Clorissa, took Camryn to a wild sunflower field she found on the side of the road and took some beautiful pictures of her. I had to scan them in, so unfortunately, the quality is pretty poor, but I think you can still get the idea of how great they are. Clorissa and her husband Scotty had the first picture enlarged and framed for us to hang in our new home. It made me cry! We have been blessed with such sweet people in our lives!

SE is Blogging!!!

I have been encouraging my friend, Sarah Ellen, to blog forever it seems! She finally decided to take the plunge and start a blog. YAY! She and her husband Jeff are super cool people, so you will love reading about their crazy life. You can check them out at

Also, check back soon, and I promise I will have lots of pictures from this past weekend. It was our goodbye weekend to everyone at church (sooooo hard!), so I will update on that ASAP!

Jul 25, 2008


I am not a patient person. So, after looking at only 8 houses and still not finding "the" house in Lancaster, I am frustrated. We went to look at one yesterday that we found online that we just felt would be it. No dice - a foreclosure, so not well taken care of, bad layout, small kitchen with a weird layout, non-functional master bath ... we were pretty disappointed. We do have one house that we've kept on our list and really like. Our only concern is that it will be too small for us - once we move in all the furniture we currently have will fill it up. No room for growth in that house. We've talked about the possibility of adding a room over the garage, but are not sure at this point if that's a viable option for us. Just frustrating . . . I want to walk into the house and just know it's "the one," which is how we felt with our house in Anderson.

On another note, Camryn said something really cute today that just melted Jason's heart. He was watching her this morning and let her watch Sesame Street while he took at shower. He told her, "Come get me if you need me." While he was showering, she came to the door and said, "Daddy, I need you! There's a baby bee!" He said, "OK, be really careful, I'll be right there!" He jumped out and headed to the living room to look for the "bee" and found out "B" was the letter of the day on Sesame Street, and Camryn was referring to the baby B! So, he headed back to the bathroom to finish up. A couple of minutes later, Camryn hollered. "Daddy, I need you!" He went rushing back in and said, "What do you need me for?" She said, "I need you for me, Daddy!" So sweet ... she just wanted him in the room with her. She knows she has Daddy wrapped around her finger!

Jul 21, 2008

When God Moves . . .

. . . He really takes off! This past week has been a whirlwind! As of Friday our house is under contract. Wow! After 10 days on the market, we had competing offers and ended up getting full asking price for our house, minus about $425 for a home warranty the buyers requested and a few appliances we were more than happy to throw in (new stuff for us!). If you listen to anyone talk about the real estate market today, you know selling a house in 10 days in no small feat. However, my prayer was, "God, I know you are bigger and badder than a bad real estate market, so just show us what You can do." Man, did He ever!

That's not where the fun stops. After striking out on finding a job in almost every district close to Lancaster County (I started looking at the wrong time of the year), I finally have an interview this Friday. I will probably have a bit of a drive to work each day, although no more than I currently drive now to Pickens County, but the bonus is I will only have a 4-day work week! I will have Fridays off and have a little bit of extra time with Jason (who gets Fridays off at his new church!) and Camryn.

Still not done! I have been very concerned about finding a daycare for Camryn. In any daycare in Anderson (and pretty much anywhere, I'm sure), you cannot just waltz in and expect your child to start within a few weeks. Usually, you are on a waiting list ... for a long time! Someone recommended a Christian school to me in Lancaster and told me they started with a 3 year old program. Camryn won't be 3 until February, but on a whim, I called just to ask about their program. Lo and behold, they will begin a 2 year old program in August! It sounds amazing - the class size is 8 students per classroom, they are an actual school and not a daycare, so they will begin teaching her letters, sounds, numbers, how to write her name, etc., AND the tuition is less than we are currently paying! Sounds too good to be true, huh? We are still praying and discussing whether this will be the right place for us (there are other factors we need to consider), but the fact we even have an option is amazing to me!

Thank you, God, for watching over us, taking care of us, and giving us everything we need right when we need it if we just put our trust in You!!!

Jul 16, 2008

Oh, the Funny Things A 2-Year Old Says ...

Last night Camryn and I were sitting on the couch together, and I started singing the chorus of a song the Ladies' Ensemble sang on Sunday.

Camryn: "What are you singing?"
Me: "Take This Life"
Camryn: "Why?"
Me: "I don't know. I just can't get it out of my head."
Camryn, standing up to look at the top of my head: "Let me see!"

She also said something similar the other day .... I have to remember she doesn't get figures of speech yet! I was in the middle of doing something (literally, my hands were full), and she came running up to me.

Camryn: "Mommy, I have to go potty!
Me: " Can you hold it for just one minute?"
Camryn: "What?"
Me: "Can you hold it for just one minute, baby?"
Camryn, looking around: "What?"
Me: "Honey, what are you asking me?"
Camryn, still looking around: "What you want me to hold for you?"

Jul 13, 2008

Our Big News

Today we did one of the hardest things we've ever done which was announce to our church family that Jason will be leaving in August to accept a position as full time minister of music and worship at a church in Lancaster, SC. This has been in the works for us since the beginning of April, but for obvious reasons, it was not something we could talk about, discuss, or that I could blog about until we were sure it was definite. I don't even know where to begin to express my feelings about this move for us. On the positive side, it is truly an answer to our prayers and our families' prayers. Of course, having a child completely changes the way you view everything. Being a newlywed couple, I think it was a great thing for us to be in Anderson - a place that was comfortable for us because we met and went to college here but far enough away from our parents that we were allowed to be independent and learn to be a married couple. Once Camryn came into the picture, we really started to wish we were closer to our family. Jason and I both grew up with both sets of grandparents in the same town we lived in and playing a huge part in our lives. We, obviously, want that for Camryn as well. Jason was also very close to his aunts, uncles, and cousins growing up, and we want our daughter (and any future kids!) to have that same closeness with her family. The move to Lancaster puts us right in the middle of Jason's parents, my parents, and our sisters. This is also an exciting opportunity for Jason. He is going to a church that has some great talent waiting there but is basically a blank slate. He has the opportunity to really grow and stretch the music program at this new church. We are also very excited about the kind and welcoming people we have met there and the enthusiasm of the staff.

The negative for us, of course, is the reality of having to leave a place we now consider our home. I have tears in my eyes even as I'm typing this because we have met and grown to love some of the most wonderful, giving, precious people I know we will ever meet. We have invested in them, and they have so lovingly invested in our family, and it will be one of the hardest things ever to leave them. Without our immediate family here, they have become our family. They know everything about us (sometimes more than they want to know probably!) but love us anyway. Anderson is so special to us - we met here, had our first home here (the crazy basement apartment and our home now), had our first child here, had our first church here, and have been loved here. There will never be a moment that the people won't be in our thoughts and in our hearts!

So, right now, we are soaking in every bit of Anderson that we can! We're going out to eat way too much at all our favorite places, making ourselves permanent fixtures at some of our friends' homes, and just spending every free moment we can with people that we love. There are some scary unknowns out there right now for us - we have to sell our house in a pretty bad real estate market, we have to find a house that fits our taste and our budget, we have to find a daycare for Camryn, and I have to find a job! But, we are determined to give God all of the glory in this situation and know He has the details all worked out - we just have to be patient and watch them unfold. This has definitely been a decision we, our family, and our friends have prayed hard about, and we really feel God is leading us to this new town and church. This has to be a God thing, otherwise, I would not allow my husband to move me to a town without a Chili's! So, please be in prayer for us. This is huge, this is hard for us and our church, but it is also exciting. We'll keep you updated as it all happens!

Jul 11, 2008

Birthday Party

Tonight we were invited to one of the youth, Sarah's, birthday party. We went and had so much fun hanging out with the youth. They are great! You would not know Camryn is the same child she was Memorial Day weekend! During our beach trip that weekend, she was freaked out by the pool, and now she is a little fish! She puts her face under water, hates to get out, and you can briefly let go of her as she "swims" between people. She loves it! Here are some pictures from our fun night!