Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting crafty (crocheting and sewing projects)

I have, in the past, greatly enjoyed spending time doing crafts. However, with four children, free time for 'crafting' is scarce! I loaned my sewing machine out for our trip to Jackson, as I didn't want to pack it and I wasn't sure I would have space to use it. Not having my sewing machine around, though, I itched for another creative outlet. So, I purchased yarn to make baby gifts for several new babies who are due soon. Crocheting is a great way to make the most of long road trips, by the way--I have another baby gift almost completed just in our drive back to Jackson from NC.

Here are photos of my recent projects: 

Baby M's blanket

Baby L's hat

Baxter's scarf

Miniature Wicked Witch of the West dress for my niece

(I worked on this dress while we were in Georgia for our extended stay. It was an intricate pattern but it turned out really cute! Just don't look too closely at anything...)

My niece is adorable in the this dress.
But she's adorable anytime!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cookies with the kids

Last week, G begged to make Snickerdoodles, which are our favorite cookie (Georgia's and mine).
Baxter protested that HIS favorite cookie was chocolate chip cookies--he didn't like Snickerdoodles.
I remember being one of four kids and having different preferences from my siblings, so
to bless my kids, G and I made Snickerdoodles, and B and I made chocolate chip cookies.

Sweet, messy memories

Lest you think the Finns ate multiple dozens of cookies last week (not that anyone's judging!), we took the chocolate chip cookies to our small group, and the Snickerdoodles to Nathan's work.
We believe in sharing the cookie love.

What is the cookie of choice is your family?

Campus carnival and food truck rodeo

January 2014 marks ten years that Danny Akin has served as president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Nathan and I moved to Wake Forest in May of 2014, so this anniversary also marks ten years of our life in Wake Forest. The Finns love Danny and Charlotte Akin, and so we were thrilled to celebrate their anniversary on campus March 31-April 1. There was a 'dress up' dinner for the adults on Monday evening, March 31st, and then a campus-wide carnival for the entire family on Tuesday, April 1st.

Sadly, Fuller had been running a fever for a few days so we took him to the doctor right before the carnival. His fever was ruled a virus, and though he was clingy and a little fussy, I strapped him to me and went to the festivities anyway. 
We arrived early enough that the kids didn't have to wait long for the pony rides!
We were also able to get in line fairly early for the food trucks, of which there were six. The Finns LOVE a good food truck, and Nathan has been asking for awhile for SEBTS to bring one on campus. The lines quickly grew long, with some people waiting over thirty minutes just to place their order. SEBTS blessed all of the students by providing these food trucks, which served well over 1000 meals that day.

There are no pictures of our food, but we ate American Meltdown--gourmet 'melts' that we all liked! Nathan got one called the Dirty South with pimento, andouille sausage and sweet corn. Mine was the Orchard with ham, apples, and cheese, and the Finnlings all had grilled cheese. Yummy yummy yummy. 

The Finnlings have never been on a pony ride, so the fact they could do this one so easily and for free was a huge blessing! Eleanor made it about half a loop around before she started screaming, so she didn't finish her ride. Baxter and Georgia, however, loved every moment of it. I could not get them to look at me for anything, but my friend Cara captured three great pictures of the grinning Finnlings for me (see the last three pony ride pictures).

My poor sick baby was a trooper during this time!

Truth be told, the Finnlings enjoy the inflatables MUCH more than their parents 
(who inevitably have to rescue someone from inside)! 

Happy anniversary, Dr. Akin! We love you and look forward to the next ten years at SEBTS!

Date taken: April 1, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coming home from the hospital

I just found this blog post draft that had never been posted! Enjoy this 'blast from the past'! Hard to believe this sweet boy is about to be one.

Date taken: April 27, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Southern Forest World, Waycross

The Finn family spent ten days in Waycross, Georgia, Nathan's hometown, while his mother was hospitalized with an infection. I packed schoolbooks with the best of intentions to continue our work while there, but it just did not materialize most days. However, we did take advantage of field trip activities while there, including a trip to Southern Forest World, a self-guided museum that teaches about the history of forestry in the southern United States. My tree-hugging friends, please don't hate on me, but forestry is a huge industry in the south!

We learned about the foresting process, the different types of trees, and the many uses of tree sap. Did you know that tree sap is what makes sticky things sticky, and cloudy liquids (like Powerade or Gatorade) cloudy? The things you learn!

This tree was struck by lightning, and the museum has marked important dates throughout history on its rings. It is amazing to think of the tree being alive for 400 years

This is a real space suit displayed at the museum.

A mummified dog was found inside a tree. My picture isn't very clear, which is good, because the dog is creepy! 

 Outside of the museum is a train engine that the Finnlings love to climb all over! It was a fun day to learn more about Waycross and its history and industry.

Date taken : March 5, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chickasaw State Park

 One of the joys of our sabbatical time away is exploring new areas as a family.

Honestly, we are not good about this even in our own wonderful area of North Carolina, 
but we do not want our time in Tennessee to go to waste.

After an emotional, draining time in Georgia during Nathan's mother's hospitalization (more about that in another blog post, hopefully), we came back to Jackson and wanted to spend some time outdoors.
We found Chickasaw State Park about thirty minutes away from our front door, and we fell in love. Hiking trails, picnic tables, a playground, and a lovely little lake are some of the features. We spent two Saturdays in a row there, and cannot wait to return. Our goal is to become a family of hikers--we have to build up to longer and more difficult hikes, especially for little Eleanor, but we all enjoy them.

Dates taken: March 8 & 15, 2014