Sunday, July 13, 2008

EXTRA, EXTRA . . . Read All About It!

Just an update on Ethan's BIG CATCH--he was featured in Skipper Smith's column in the Banks County Newspaper on Thursday! Mr. Smith is the father of Shawn Smith, our SS teacher and good friend, and was so kind to interview Ethan about his fishing experience. You can click on the photo to enlarge it and read the article. What a treat!
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Also, the fish is no longer in my freezer (thank you!), but is officially at the taxidermy shop for mounting. We should see her again in four to five months!

Monday, July 7, 2008


One of my closest friends, Carol, asked me to run the Peachtree 10K Roadrace with her this year. It is something that I have wanted to do as well, so I agreed (with all my good intentions) way back in the early Spring. We ran the Memorial Day 5K together and planned to kick up the training from that point on. However, we left for vacation the week after and then I returned to a week of sickness and so on. . . unfortunately, I made lots of excuses not to run.

Me with Carol & Mary Ann--Finishers!

Needless to say, there wasn't much training and I was very discouraged. In fact, I was so discouraged that I contemplated just not running this year; I would wait until next year when I was better trained and prepared and could do 'my best'. Those who know me, know that I hate to do things unprepared . . . and yet I also don't like to quit something I've committed to do. I am so thankful for the encouragement of several faithful friends at that point. My good friends (and neighbors!) Stacy and Andrea reminded me that simply running the race, regardless of my time, would be such an accomplishment . . . as well as an amazing experience. My always encouraging friend Carol reminded me that we were in this together and that none of us were very prepared but we would persevere together. So, I finally made the decision not to quit--I would run.

I headed down to the race early Friday morning with Carol and her friend Mary Ann. On the way, Carol shared this verse with us in anticipation of the event ahead:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

I knew this verse well, and yet it took on such a new meaning that morning. As the race began, I was reminded of the verse two more times as I saw it posted on random signs along the route. That verse was for me and what an awesome encouragement it was! I pushed through the first three miles, only to find the last three to be a little easier. I think I gained a certain amount of confidence after that third mile and the knowledge that I WOULD persevere and finish was certain. What an AMAZING feeling to finally cross the finish line and know that I had accomplished what seemed impossible just a few days before.
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Thank you, God, for giving me the strength and courage to persevere, and for surrounding me with such incredible friends who lift me up daily!
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What a BLAST!

July 4th was a blast . . . of course! We decided to invite a few of our favorite families over for a cookout. The Smith family (Shawn, Valerie, Hunter & Morgan) and the Hatcher Family (Alan, Carol, Colin & Faith) joined us for hamburgers, hotdogs and the fixings; then we headed outside to visit and fish in the lake. As soon as it was dark the kids played with the sparklers and and the daddies put on a mini fireworks show. What a fun day with good friends!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ethan gets the BIG catch!

Our neighbor Mr. Ricky has been talking about the BIG fish in our lake for some time . . . However, Kip and the boys have never hooked anything very big, so we chalked it up to another fish tale. Today, Ethan proved there are still some big ones left in the lake--here's Ethan's version of the story:

Now for the extended version: Ethan baited his line with a live brim (caught by our little neighbor, Jarrett Jenkins--way to go Jarrett, it was great bait!) and Mr. Ricky helped him cast it WAY OUT. Just a bit later, something was tugging at Ethan's line. He started reeling it in and didn't feel too much on the line . . . however, as it got closer, he realized he had the BIG ONE! His rod was bowing, but he held on and reeled it in all by himself. Kip and I were inside eating lunch when Kip noticed Ethan's line out the window--we all raced outside just in time to see the huge large-mouth bass hanging from the line. WOW! Ethan was a little overwhelmed and afraid to hold it--her mouth was so huge! Finally Ethan calmed down a bit and he and Graham managed to hold it for a few pictures. He wasn't sure if he wanted to eat the bass or mount it (letting it go wasn't an option!), but he finally decided that he would like to mount it if Kip was willing to foot the bill, lol! So, it is probably a good thing I haven't started decorating Ethan's bedroom with the military airplane theme he had chosen. . . not sure how that would look with a real bass hanging over the headboard! By the way--the men were guessing it would weigh in around 7-8 pounds. However, we weren't able to weigh it until it had been dead for a bit and it weighed in at 6 pounds (probably would have been a little heavier when weighed right out of the water).