Saturday, April 25, 2015

Big WWEend

Let's just say that Uncle David is awesome! On Friday Gran picked the boys from school. Michael and I had a really busy weekend, so the boys spent the night with Gran.  Their first stop was Uncle David's house where they geared up!

Sam as John Cena

Finn as Roman Reigns

Here they are with their "Money in the Banks." 

My big weekend started with meeting Grandad, Gigi, Lauren, Ryan and Robyn at Demos for a "carbo-load."  Dad and Lauren were in town for the Music City Marathon.  They spent the night at our house while Michael and I went to Dustin and Elena's for David Platt's Secret Church. 

The "Secret Church" streaming event was awesome.  Michael and I left around 2:00 a.m. and it was still going strong. 

 We left early because I scheduled to get up 5:00 a.m. and go downtown to cheer Dad and Lauren on in the half marathon. 

This is dad and Lauren at the start.  They were in coral 31. 

Right after they passed up, we quickly checked the map and Gina, Ryan and Robyn and I ran to the next spot where we thought me might see them again. We tried to see them at the 10 mile mark.  We stood at the bridge over 11th Avenue for an hour and waited for them to come by.  Somehow or another we missed them.  Then we had to book it back to L.P. Field to catch the finish. Overall we saw them 3 times on the route and at the finish line. 

They did it!

Afterwards we celebrated with a Pharmacy Burger. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Saturday was a pretty uneventful day for us.  I cleaned out and organized the garage while Sam and Finn played close by.  At 11:30 we went over to Hippity Hop for a birthday party.  Sam typically hates parties at Hippity Hop because he is scared of the bouncies.  We were one of the first to arrive so I got into to the bouncy with Sam to help him get used to it.  We went down the slide about five times together, then he was good to go.  I don't think that I saw him the rest of the party. He even managed to keep his underwear dry.

I am ever amazed at Finn's creativity.  Yesterday, he decided that he wanted to dress up like "Neville." Not the Neville from Harry Potter - by his attire, you have probably guessed that Neville is a wrestler.  To complete his look he used my leg warmers as knee pads and two Styrofoam cups as wrist bands. It was the cups that impressed me the most.  He then walked slowly down the stairs while announcing his own entrance.  It's stuff like this that confirms for me that Finn can do anything he sets his mind too - and anything less is just pure laziness on his part. With this in mind, I will probably put this picture on  Finn's college graduation invitations as a reminder of his ingenuity.

Later in the evening Michael and Finn went on a walk around the neighborhood.  Sam was supposed to go too, but he woke up from his nap about 3:00 and cried in misery for no less than 4 hours.  We couldn't calm him or comfort him no matter what we tried.  He didn't really have a fever and he really couldn't tell us what was wrong.  He just kept saying "I ate too much candy."  From that I surmised that his stomach hurt.  After his bath I gave him some medicine and he seemed to feel much better.

Michael asked Finn to pretend that he was falling.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fundraising for my Medical Mission Trip to Uganda.

This summer (July 9 - July 19), I will be traveling to Mbirra, Uganda to serve as a member of a medical mission team.  I am very excited about this opportunity.  I was approached around the first of the year by my friend Elena Clayton.  She is the wife of the coordinator of the trip.  She asked if I would be interested in going.  I told her that I would think about it.  Truly, I wasn't that interested in going for the following reasons:  1) It is a 22 hour flight, WHAT! 2) it is a 10 day trip away from the boys, 3) it is a medical trip and I don't know a lot about healthcare (I have a lousy bedside manner), 4) the trip is very expensive - $2,540.00, to be exact, and 5) there are cobras on site.  Last year a little boy stomped on the head of a cobra and killed it.  The thought sends shivers down my spine to this day.

But . . . I told Elena that I would think about it - so I did.  The more I thought about it, the more convicted I felt about going.  In my mind I made every excuse why I could NOT to go.  For example, I can't be away from work for 10 days, I will have to cut my family vacation short, I CAN'T be on a plane for 22 hours. So every time Elena approached me I would say, "I'm still thinking about it."  Finally, after a few weeks of unrest - I told God that I would go.  Later than night I told Michael about my decision and he told me that the trip had already filled up so I was out of luck.  Secretly, I was pretty happy.  After all, I had made the decision to go - it just wasn't going to work out - oh darn.  As the time passed, I felt less "happy" about my stalling.  Don't we teach our children that "not doing something when asked" is still disobeying?

Last Monday as our Sunday School class was preparing dinner for "Rescue One," Dustin and Elena asked again if I was going to Uganda this year.  Confused, I said, "but the trip is full."  Dustin then explained that he had counted me in that number so I had a spot if I wanted to go.  This time, I knew exactly what I needed to do.  I told him that I was "all in" and decided to take the Scarlett O'Hara approach to funding the trip - "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Well alas, tomorrow has arrived . . . and it is time to start thinking about raising money.  As I mentioned earlier, the total cost of the trip is $2,540.  I realize that I will not be able to raise all of it, but I would like to raise as much as possible.

Let me tell you a little about the trip.  We will be staying in a small village in Mbiira.  There are two missionary families from Hendersonville, Tennessee that run the orphanage in the village.  Over the course of a week we will put on a medical clinic, first for the orphans, second, for the partnering church, Mbiira Baptist Church, and third for the villagers and any surrounding villagers.

Last year, the team provided medical, dental, vision and pharmaceutical care to over 2.000 people - people that did not have access to healthcare. This year we hope to help the same - all while being the hands and feet of Jesus.

So, what does this $2,540 go toward:
1) our airfare - yes, this is pretty expensive.
2) medical supplies.  We bring all of our supplies with us. We each bring two large suitcases.  Those suitcases are filled with supplies for the trip.  We put our belongings for the trip in a backpack/carry-on.   Yes, we will smell pretty bad by the end of the week.
3) new mosquito nets for the orphans
4) diapers and formula for the babies

Our room and board is provided by the two missionary families that live in the village.  They also provide us with breakfast and supper.   We will bring our own lunch food with us.

Along the lines of full disclosure.  On our last day in Africa, we will be white water rafting on the Nile - so we will be having a little fun too.

Please know that it is very difficult for me to ask - I am a terrible fundraiser/salesman.  But, if you feel led to give to this trip, or know anyone who is looking to fund missions,  I have created a "Go Fund Me" page. (copy and paste this link in to a web-browser). Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Regardless of how much or little money I raise, I am going to go.   God is the great provider and he will find a way to get me there.

I have included a few pictures from Michael's trip last year.  He worked in the vision clinic.

Last year, Michael filled a last minute spot.  Literally last minute - he had 10 days notice.  This almost meant that the person who backed out had already paid for the trip in full and offered that to Michael.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Poor Gran and Pa

On Thursday, while driving home from school, Finn started talking about Disney World.  He asked me about the first time I went to Disney World.  I told him that Nana and Grandad took me to Disney World when I was five years old.   Finn told me that made sense, since Nana and Grandad were my mother and father.

Then Finn got a really sad look on his face and in a pitiful voice said, "mom, when do you think Gran and Pa will have children of their own?"   Confused, I said, "Finn, Gran and Pa have their own children."  I then asked Finn to name Gran and Pa's children.  Finn looked at me and said, "well, I guess its me and Sam."  I was flabbergasted.  I reminded Finn and both he and Sam are mine and Daddy's children.  Finn then seemed to remember that yes, those two people that have been raising him for the last five and half years were his parents.

Then he said, "well, who ARE Gran and Pa's children?"  I just kind of gawked at him until he said "oh, I remember, it's Daddy, Uncle David and Uncle James."

Later than night we took the boys down to the creek to ride their bikes.  Finn did a great job riding. Sam, screamed in delight as I pushed him the entire time.  And let me say, it is hard work pushing a small child on a "small child" bike.  First, I was in a very awkward position because I had to lean down so low to the ground.  Second, Sam laid (metaphorically, of course) on the brakes the entire time. So I was hunched over pushing a stationary bike with all of my might while Sam made comments about what good job he was going riding his bike.

On Saturday, Sam and I went to Aldi to see if it really cheaper.  I think it might be.  I let Sam pick out one item - he chose to giant marshmallows. Once we got home I gave Sam a marshmallow and we sat on the back patio on the swing and snuggled and listened to music.  It was great.

This is the group picture for this year.

This is just a cute story about Sam learning to count.  The other day Sam and Michael were sitting on the couch working on their school work.  Michael asked Sam how high he could count.  Sam responded, "How do you rate your pain?"  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Grandparent's Day

Today was Grandparent's Day at HCA.  The boys have been working very hard preparing for their program.  Sam has earned either a yellow or red sticker everyday this week for his fervor during program practice.

Nana, Papa, Gran and Pa came to watch the program.  This year was a camping theme. The kids discussed what food products they brought with them. Sam informed the group that he brought the Ketchup.   Finn requested to make s'mores.  Sam also ensured that nobody forgot about the chips.  Actually, Sam whispered this line so the chips were more than likely forgotten.

Next they same campfire songs:  Rise and Shine, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Do Your Ears Hang Low, and On Top of Spaghetti.  Both Finn and Sam sang all of the songs - which, for Sam, is a great improvement from last year. Sam was so funny when he was singing.  He closed his eyes and swayed side to side.

Sam showing off his swimming moves.

After the program we ate hot dogs and other campfire foods.  After a few pictures, it was time to go home.

Before going home, we stopped for lunch at Monell's with Gran and Pa. After lunch the boys spent the remainder of the day with Gran and Pa while I caught up on some work.

Thanksgiving 2017

 The Begley crew arrived at Nana and Papa's house on Wednesday night around supper time.  We unpacked and set the boys up in their new ...