Monday, September 23, 2013

A Week Highlighted

One could say yesterday was the beginning of a new week, and while technically that would be correct, here, in the Kirby household, it was the end of a busy week.

A few of the week's highlights were the celebration of my sons' birthdays (two sons born on the same day, five years apart), a killer football game, a significant road trip for my teens, oh, and we couldn't possibly forget Pirate Day!

(As always, click the picture to enlarge it if desired!)

Do these faces say "Exhausted!" or what?!
A FULL BIRTHDAY, ending in football practice, a quick shower,
and *finally* birthday cake!
At their request, I made my homemade chocolate cake
decorated by yours truly!
It was yum!

Pirate Day - September 19th
In keeping with our football season Thursday night tradition,
V fulfilled the requirements of Krispy Kreme to receive a whole dozen doughnuts free!
(Score one for the family, buddy!!)
And to make the deal even sweeter,  by the time we arrived, they had run out of the plain glazed, which was the original offer, SO they gave him a free dozen filled doughnuts!
You can imagine his double delight!

"Road Trip!" morning!
'Someone' wasn't about to be left behind!
I had placed our bag by the door, along with her pillow a top.
I do believe she made her position crystal clear!

My view.
A bit surreal and grand at the same time!
(Husband is riding "shot gun.")

My traveling buddies!

Yummy lunch, at least in my book!
Salmon lasagna with steamed veggies.

And double score! Our entire lunch was FREE!
Don't you just love it when the Lord blesses with
unexpected surprises?!

Waiting for class to begin.

My view.
Serious race setup

So, *now* I get to introduce you! 
Meet Doug Herbert. 
Read about his story HERE 

To all North Carolina parents, I cannot emphasize enough: 
 ENROLL your teens in this five hour class! 

For those outside North Carolina, 
go ahead and check their website anyway! 

They have been to over twenty states already,
including a recent driving clinic in Alaska. 
Their goal is to have this be a nationally accessible clinic. 

It is a safe environment for your teen drivers to experience THE leading causes to accidents and what to do in the event they find themselves in such situations. The B.R.A.K.E.S' trainers are the best of the best. You know the guys who train the Secret Service to drive the President? These are some of those guys. Some of the other trainers are stunt drivers for commercials and movies.

My children had nothing but good things to say about the instructors and the instructions they gave.

They run small classes, ensuring your children get plenty of "seat time" - going through the different scenarios numerous times until the child becomes "comfortable" in those intense situations.

Pictured here:

1) A "skid track" (at the "back" of the photo) --- used to get the kids knowledgeable and comfortable in the event of a skid, and how to prevent it from becoming a spin. Note the white car on the far left going into a skid. That's a KID driving that car (after the instructor has demonstrated what to do and is now sitting shotgun). They will do it again and again until the child does the maneuver correctly (and hopefully with increasing confidence).

2) The "distraction track" -- (Note the car on the far right at the "front" of the photo.) This track is where they put the kids through the rigors of concentration while throwing distractions at them, such as a ball being thrown at the car or the radio suddenly being turned up loudly. The instructors have a whole arsenal of methods they throw at the kids to get them used to staying calm with the unexpected.

There were other courses, such as the "drop wheel recovery" track (where one (or two) wheel(s) drift or goes off the road), which is one of the highest ranked situations for inexperienced drivers having serious accidents.

Another track was the "evasive maneuver" track (aka: how to avoid becoming a part of an accident already happening). And they covered "panic stop."

By the end of this year, 10,000 kids will have gone through the program in less than five years time!  That sounds like a lot until you consider how many kids are on the roads these days! 

Scroll down to "Driving School and Schedule" and then MAKE the time and GO! 

For those with younger children not yet driving,
bookmark their link! 
You are going to want it in a few years! 

Blessings to Doug and those who work with him! 
It is a GREAT group of people with a GREAT mission:
Actively equipping our kids with necessary driving skills! 


Be responsible and keep everyone safe! 

Have a blessed week all! 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

In case you haven't heard, autumn is upon us!

In keeping with my family's firm belief, "Life is not a spectator sport,"  we have had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, we cheered on V at his football game. That time as a family has been such FUN! The weather could not have been more perfect, nor the skies any more blue!  Later, we richly enjoyed the company of some very dear friends.

Today, we took in a nearly five mile hike through God's creation....

Click on pictures to enlarge.

And enjoy the babbling sounds of the river in the two videos.

Starting out

The water was so clear.

Our lunch setting!  Perfect!
Half way through our hike, we paused for lunch.
We hopped some smaller rocks to access a large rock formation in the middle of the river.

This scene and sound was directly to my
 right as I sat and had lunch.

Our lunch spot -- picture taken from the bank of the river.
The rock formation was much larger than it appears in the picture.

See the wee-little frog?

"Rock beach"

At the end of our hike, we came upon a wading pool area.
Yep! You guessed it!
The shoes came off, and the feet went in!
After nearly five miles, the cool water felt amazing!

We hope you'll come back for another visit soon!  We have many adventures planned this autumn. Inclusive of this week, our two sons will celebrate turning seventeen and twelve years of age on the same joy-filled day! 

Here is to what was.... and here is to what is to come!

Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Develop a Habit of Giving

In today's culture, there is no shortage to the "me bubbles" all around us. No doubt you know what I am talking about.

It's the person standing beside you that carries on their cell phone conversation as if no one is around.

It's the person that, while driving, pulls out in front of you even though there are no cars behind you.

It's the person that edges closer and closer to you in the grocery line as you pay for your groceries because, to them, you just are not paying fast enough.

There are literally hundreds of examples seen daily by those with eyes to see. People doing "crazy things" all because their mindset is habitually "me" or "I" focused.

"Mine" is one of the first words a toddler learns and demonstratively uses on a regular basis.  

When my eldest was a toddler and I was pregnant with my second child, I saw, with great clarity, where this "mine" behavior would go if not intercepted. As the instrument of interception,  I routinely sat with my toddler as he played and gently took whatever he was playing with as I both said and taught him the powerful concept, "Share." 

When my children were young (my oldest was around six and my youngest was in a stroller), the Lord directed me to get involved in a local bread ministry with them.  Once a week, we would trek over to our assigned grocery store and pick up all the "day old" bread and pastries.  We would then drop them off to the distribution place where it would then be taken to families in need.  It was a small task, but it made a lasting impression on my little ones.  

Today, as I observed my children, now ranging in age from almost 17 (as of next week!) to almost 12 (as of next week!) joyfully helping at a local food pantry with me, I couldn't help but smile and think back over the past seventeen years. Seventeen years of actively, deliberately intercepting the "me bubble," popping it, and driving home the vastly more satisfying precept, "Share" -  through action.

I am reminded even now (thus provoking a quick snap shot to share - grin!)  of a picture in my home that says it best:

(Click to enlarge)

To the parents of children who are still "under roof," can I just take a moment to edify you?

Find (Seek out!) opportunities to serve others as a family.  My family particularly looks for and loves the opportunities that enable anonymity, another vital precept to teach your children.... for it is better to receive the beloved, intimate smile of God than the applause of men.

Parents, let's be found DOING in our children's eyes what we say is of importance.  Find the time.   The reward will be seen in the generations to come and on into eternity!



Saturday, September 7, 2013

V's First Football Game!

Well, after our kids stayed up ALL night for a youth "lock-in,"  V took on his first football game of the season.

He dug deep and rallied to meet the occasion!  It just strikes me as a tad bit unreal that he was able to play a football game after being up 26 hours, but he did!

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Opening prayer.
 Such a wonderful league!

V facing a giant head on
V is no small kid, but some of these guys are walls! you see the size of the other guy?!

And again!
Every time, he faced them straight on!

After game.
Boys deepening their roots to upright manhood.
Love it!

Crossing the field for the after game huddle.

NEVER have I witnessed this.
Both teams came together to edify the other,
calling out and congratulating the other team's players,
 plays, and over all efforts.

(Have I mentioned just how much I LOVE this league?)

V ate a hotdog on the way home and is now fast asleep in bed.  A well deserved rest for my all-star player!

You all have a GREAT weekend!