Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Day on the Town part 1: The Monastery

For several years, a family at our church has taken our kids for a day to let us have a quiet day.  Several times, I have just rested at home either being really pregnant, or having a new baby.  But this time, neither were the case, so Adrian and I planned a day out.

I have wanted to visit a monastery in Conyers since I learned that they have a collection of bonsais.  Adrian and I drove down to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit stopping to pick up lunch on our way.  When we pulled into the parking lot, there was only one or two other cars in the parking lot.  We walked towards the visitor's center, saw some cafe tables, and decided to stop there to eat.  Adrian and I kept remarking on how quiet and peaceful it was!  It was so quiet and all you could hear were the birds singing and the airplanes overhead.  It was almost funny thinking of bringing the kids to such a place.
After we finished our lunch, we decided to start at the visitor's center.  We got to watch a short movie on how the monks came to Conyers and how they built their living quarters and their church.  It talked of the monks traditions and work.
After the movie, we saw the bonsai garden and took some time to look at the 8 or so trees.  Adrian's favorite was 103 year old boxwood.  I preferred a 45 year old Maple (I think).

 The first two looked like they needed a bit of trimming.

This one was my favorite.

Adrian's favorite.

 I liked the "forest" style bonsais, too.

The whole current collection.

We went through a small museum that was housed in the barn that the monks lived in when they first came to Georgia from Kentucky.  The museum was interesting because it showed how the monks originally lived and how they worked.  When they first built their living quarters, they built it in silence!  If I remember correctly, they said that it took 5 months.

When we finished at the museum, we walked around to the abby church.  The church is interesting because it is the largest church built completely out of concrete.  The pillars were all poured by hand and took over 100,000 wheel barrow loads!  The church is beautiful.  The white concrete contrasted sharply with the warm wood of the desk/benches that the monks use and the warm light at the front of the sanctuary.  Blue stain glass adorned all the lower side windows.  Purple, blue, and pink windows were higher on the walls.  At the back of the sanctuary near the entrance to the church was an unusual textured stain glass of blue, white, and red.  I loved all the stained glass.  The front of the sanctuary has a picture stain glass, but it wasn't as nice as all the others.

The area where the monks worship.

Even the ceiling was beautiful.  The white is poured concrete!

The lighting in the sanctuary was interesting with the coldness of the white concrete and the blue/purple light of the stain glass contrasted with the warm yellow light in the front.

I thought these stain glass windows are absolutely beautiful and great inspiration for quilts!

Interesting signs in the church.

The outside of the Church with the cloister attached.

This was a part of a monument.  I loved the way the bird is punched from the metal.  It is so simple and beautiful!

As we were leaving the monastery, we saw a sign for the cemetery.  They run a natural cemetery, and I was excited to see it!  We drove through the area, but all we saw was the office.  Neither Adrian nor I wanted to go in and ask about the burial grounds, so we just left.  I love the idea of natural burial, but I want there to be some kind of marker memorializing the people who are buried there.

After leaving the monastery, we headed North for a bit more adventure.  To be continued...

Monday, June 27, 2016

First Visit to the Pool

We made our first visit to the pool this year the day after Memorial Day.  We went with my parents, grandmother, and the Presleys.  We shared pizza at the pool and had a great time!  The kids loved jumping in and cooling off.  I don't usually like getting in because it is cold and I don't like getting wet, but I got in for a few minutes just for fun.

All the kids (minus Patrick) with Gma.

Adrian tried to help Patrick float.

Keira and Kyle work on swimming.

Mercy loved throwing the dive toys into the water for the other kids to get.

 The kids loved jumping in in as many ways as possible!

Keira was scared to come to her daddy!  She thought he was going to try to make her float.

Mom took a picture of my baby in the pool.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Project 366: week 24

For some strange reason, I think I am actually caught up on my 366 posts!  I am not sure how that happened.  :)  June 12 - 18 was an odd week with a lot of unusual things going on.  I guess that defines summer, though doesn't it.

Sunday: We retook Kyle's birthday pictures since last week was kind of a bust.  This is my favorite, and probably the best expression I got!  I am thankful for second chances in so many areas in life including this second chance to take Kyle's picture.

Monday: This is the ONLY picture I took all day.  This is the first day of the summer that our outdoor thermometer register 100 degrees.  I am thankful for air conditioning that makes this whether much more tolerable.  I can't image settling this part of the country before it's existence!

Tuesday:  I took Keira horseback riding because of all sorts of other things going on.  Because it was so hot, she rode in the upper pasture where there is a bit of shade.  Buddy wasn't listen or responding to her as well as normal, so she had to try extra hard to get him under control!
I am so thankful for this beautiful girl who loves horses and looks forward to the day that she can volunteer with DreamQuest.  She is such a special gift from God to us. 

Wednesday: I didn't take any pictures on Wednesday.  It was an overly busy day!  My mom was in the hospital after not feeling well over night.  So we visited her before going to Atlanta Presbyterian Fellowship's VBS in the evening.
This picture is from Tuesday when Mercy and Patrick watched Keira from the gate.  I am thankful that my mother is feeling better and is home doing well.

Thursday: Thursday was also a long busy day.  My mom went home from the hospital, and we went back downtown to the VBS.   So I didn't take any pictures, though I took my camera downtown, I didn't pull it out.  I am thankful for my in-laws efforts to start a church in an area where many people have given up hope and abandoned it to drugs and poverty.  The people in the area need Christ as much as those of us who live in the suburbs.
I took this picture Friday when I got a little bit of time to quilt!  I laid it on the floor to look at my progress, and as soon as it was down, Dylan came over and laid down.  What a crazy dog!

Friday: Before lunch, I taught the kids to play UNO.  They had a great time and even Mercy could understand the idea!  They enjoyed it so much that as soon as dinner was over, we played a couple more rounds with Adrian!
I am thankful to find a game that all the kids can play and enjoy!  They love to play board games, but I am glad to teach them a game I knew growing up.

Saturday: After lunch, I worked on trying to propagate some of our Azaleas from cuttings.  I look forward to seeing if they root.  After that, Adrian cut down some weed trees in the backyard while Avalyn, Keira, and I drug all the debris away to a burn pile.
I am thankful for taking dominion of our small part of this world.  I am thankful to be able to work outside and make our little part more beautiful.  This picture is of our Gardenias.  I LOVE their smell!  It perfumes the air around our house so beautifully, that I look forward to it each year.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Biking at Megan's

One of the things Gma likes to do while she is here is to watch the kids ride their bikes and play together in the cul-de-sac at Megan's house.  The kids have a great time and we can enjoy them with out the noise of all of them being inside!

Clayton is really good with little children.  In the past, he has helped Mercy on her bike and scooter.  This year, he helped Patrick enjoy his scooter.

Kyle and Sophia love riding bikes, though they both need bigger ones!  They are growing so fast.

Megan has a really neat car toy that all the kids fight over!  (Not really, but they all enjoy using it and usually take turns well.)

Avalyn learned to use the hula hoop around her leg.

Sophia just started reading her first Magic Tree House book, and couldn't put it down, even when she had her cousins around to play with.

Patrick took his opportunity to get into the car when he saw it empty!

 Enjoying Gma and Mamaw

 Mercy took a turn with the hula hoop, too.

We got a group picture with all the kids and adults!  That doesn't usually happen.  I think I took in the area of 30 or 40 pictures, and had 3 come out well!  I guess that is what you get when you have this many kids in a photo.

Gma showed the kids how to spit watermelon seeds.  She could definitely do it better than the rest!

 The kids loved their watermelon!

Gma is still taller than Avalyn!  Avalyn was disappointed!

 Gma's visit was shorter than normal, but we were really excited to get to spend time with her.  We miss her already!