Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hark the Harrell Angels Sing

A belated Merry Christmas from the Harrells! A few weeks ago the kids were in Sunday School while their Dad was preaching at a sweet church nearby. The teacher was talking about the famous Christmas carol, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," and David tried to claim that we were the angels. They are, after all, "herald" angels. :)
I realized before I began this update that there have only been 2 posts since last Christmas - but I'm not a quitter.....just not a great blogger. 2016 has been a year of firsts. All 6 of us traveled to Honduras in March, the kid's first airplane ride they could remember. Shortly after we got back one of my fears came true. My climber and jumper finally met his match - monkey bars at the park. In April I was pushing Mary Jo on the swing and chatting with one of my friends and Eli came running up to us with a visibly broken arm. You would assume since I work in healthcare that I might be able to keep my composure but no, my friend had to look me in the eye and say "Yes, you need to go to the" He was such a trooper and held it together really well on the 30 minute drive to the hospital - unlike his Mom. While trying to figure out what made him fall, since I wasn't right there, I finally got the answer from him "Well Sadie can skip two bars so I was trying to do it" Thankfully he healed well, despite continuing to climb things.

My first this year was coaching 4 year old soccer. The 4 year old teams were short coaches and I figured I couldn't mess them up too bad. I've actually never played soccer so practices were interesting....Steven thought it was hilarious that I had them practice high fives and finish every practice with a fun game of "duck-duck-goose," but at least the kids liked me.
We already have a whirlwind summer but this year decided to add yet another week vacation and drove to a sweet place called Greenwood Hills. Some of our friends from Virginia go to a family camp every summer there so we decided to try it out - my best friend from Charlotte and her family came as well so it was a fun time. The only complication is that we left Hilton Head, SC, and drove to Pennsylvania - a mere 10 hour drive! which Steven did like a champ. The 30 minutes I contributed to the drive I managed to pull through the truck weigh station instead of the exit - oops! The times of spiritual refreshment at two different conferences this summer were great - as was the family time we had at the beach. Another first for Eli was being a camper at summer camp - he's been every year of his life but this year got to stay in the cabin with the other campers. Steven was his counselor and I was just 100 feet away in the nurse's room so I handled it very well. Mary Jo missed him as she is still very attached to Eli...and her cousins that were also Jr Boys! As you can tell she's doted on like a princess around here!
Sadie is growing up and turned 9 this summer. For her birthday we let her get her ears pierced. She's in the 4th grade and had a speaking and singing part in her Christmas program this year. She's started to take horseback riding lessons again and of course thinks the next logical step is to buy a horse. We did finally give in to her pleading and let her get a hermit crab. Eli got one, too. She was beyond excited but has, as predicted, grown quite indifferent to her pets. I'm hoping this will prolong the time I have to continue procrastinating on buying another animal. Oh, she's growing up, time slow down please!
Mary Jo started preschool this year and David started Kindergarten at home. He and the older two all take some classes on Friday's at a church nearby. My babies are growing up too fast but we're enjoying the ride.

I'm finishing this post just a few minutes before 2017 starts. I have pajamas on and a sick little one next to me in bed. I remember 17 years ago standing on an overlook in Boone, NC, waiting anxiously for the highly anticipated Y2K, with Steven and some friends. It was our first New Years together and it was a fun time. I wouldn't trade it though for this time, even though it seems mundane. This is where the Lord has me right now and I'm thankful for it. Whatever 2017 throws our way I know in Whom I trust. And it's not Donald Trump..... although it will be slightly entertaining to see what he does in office. I'm praying for this country, for our church (which the Lord has immensely blessed in 2016 - I'll write another post about that soon), and for our marriage, family, and ministry.  May the Lord be honored by our lives as we daily strive to grow closer to Him. Hoping your New Year is Jesus-filled and blessed (you can't truly have the latter without the first!). Goodnight!