The kids and I started our weekend early by taking a little trip to Alabama on Friday. Isabella starts school in three weeks, and is in need of some clothes for school, so we went to the nearby outlets. I was pleasantly surprised by my children's behavior. I'm not sure if it was the promise of Chick-fil-a for lunch, or the grace of God, but they were great. We found some good deals, had a good lunch, and headed home. The drive is one of my favorites, as we pass pecan groves, beautiful countryside, produce stands, and lots of farms. We took a little dirt road and found a farm about a mile off the road. They had produce, pick your own zinnias, and some chickens to feed. After feeding the chickens and getting back in the car, the girls said, "That was the best shopping trip ever." We'll be going back to that farm in a few weeks; they have a vineyard and allow the kids to pick grapes. I'm looking forward to experiencing that together.
Friday afternoon wrapped up swimming lessons for these girls. This picture was actually taken at the beginning of last week. These two are very ready to swim on their own. I'm not sure what these faces are communicating, but I quote from Mallory on the first day, "I'm going to use every of my braves." And she did. They both did great! They're still not quite ready to swim on their own, but they're a bit closer.
Saturday was beautiful, so we went down to the gulf for the morning. Mason and Isabella love to play in the sand, Mallory and Jennavieve prefer the water. I'm feeling the end of summer coming, so I want to enjoy the beach as much as possible before school starts.
Saturday night was our family date night. The girls got their nails painted, picked out their outfits (and mine) and we went to a restaurant on the water for dinner. Going out to eat with four small children doesn't provide good conversation for Bradley and me, but the girls loved getting dressed up and having a night on the town.
We wrapped up our Sunday with a walk by the water after dinner. Bradley usually takes his fishing pole and last night he spotted a sting ray. The girls had never seen one before so they were pretty thrilled watching it swim along the ocean floor.
That was our weekend!
And, today, I've been encouraged by this truth about God, so I leave it with you to begin your week:
"He knows we are sick, weak and subject to slips, stumbles and falls. His heart is towards us and he carefully measures affliction lest we sink. He does not pay in measure of our offence or we could not stand. He spins out his patience to the utmost length. He will count our little as much. He will excuse the souls of his people, and lay the fault upon their flesh. Christ our advocate stands as friend, and pleads for us as he does. Christ pleads the infirmity of his people against Satan for our advantage. Are we not saved from sin by grace?
He has given us the Spirit of grace to help us, for we can do nothing good."