Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Celebrating a Milestone - Mamaw & Papaw's 65th Anniversary

A couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity to celebrate a milestone many people nowadays don't even dream of seeing. No, not a milestone for me personally, but one I rejoice in just as wholeheartedly. My dad's parents, Red and Liz Isbell, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary! In this day and age, it's considered impressive if a couple remains married for 65 months. But 65 years?! Wow! Factor in the fact that Mamaw is a 3-time cancer survivor, Papaw has had several mini-strokes, and both have had various less severe health issues over the years, and this anniversary is downright amazing. I'm so happy I was able to be there with them to celebrate. When Dad first told me he and his siblings were going to do a surprise party for them, I didn't think I would be able to make it to Alabama, but the more I thought about it, the more determined I was to be there. That I was able to surprise Mom by showing up made it even more fun! What a special weekend!
Weren't they cute when they were young?
Papaw arriving at the party - a little in shock
Cutting the cake
Feeding him cake, just like at a wedding
With all 5 of their children
Adding in the in-laws that were there
The whole gang - all the family that was able to attend
My family with the guests of honor

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Training up a new generation of archaeologists

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take the Cambridge 6th, 7th and 8th graders on a field trip to the "See the Scrolls" exhibit at Southwestern Seminary. Since we had just finished discussing the background of the NT in one class and the OT canon in the other, it was perfect timing. I worried that the students would be bored with the first part of the tour, looking at artifacts and photos and learning the history leading up to the Qumran era and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but they did great! They asked intelligent questions,  showed that they had been paying attention in class by answering the guide's questions, and acted quite respectful. Then, after a short movie, seeing the actual scrolls, and lunch in a genuine Bedouin tent, we ventured outside for the most anticipated part of the day. The seminary has set up a mock Qumran-style dig, so the tour guide showed us the various "rooms" and key features of the Qumran settlement, then set the students free to dig for actual artifacts. They had a blast, digging up a small column, a small fake skeleton, and lots of pottery shards. What a fun experience to share with my favorite middle schoolers!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We are a ROLL TIDE Family!

(And I have a FUN scrapbook page planned for these pics!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to go to the Plano Hot Air Balloon Festival. Like last year, to join with a balloon team and help crew. I did this last year with Rocky Bailey, brother of my friend Dena, and I got to help set up the balloon, FLY, and take down the balloon. This year, I was on the chase team. I got to set up the balloon, and then Rocky and I chased it down in the truck and helped put it away. There are few things I would willingly wake up at 4:30 a.m. for, but the balloon festival is one. It was a lot of fun, because not only was I hanging out with relatively new friends and surrounded by AMAZING hot air balloons, but this year I actually had a little experience and was able to be more helpful. I will say, actually flying last year was the BEST, but chasing the balloons, watching them soar above us, and experiencing it all up-close was phenomenal!
Arriving at the field
Yes, it was early! The sun was rising just as the balloons were inflating.
Ready to set up the "High Horizons"
One of the first balloons in the air
My job was holding open the mouth of the balloon so the fan could slowly fill the balloon with air. This is looking into the balloon as it inflated.
Upright, with burners heating the air
Ready to take flight
A successful launch!
We tracked down the balloon in a small field and quickly set to work packing it all away.
Didn't get a photo of me with my pilot (Rocky) last year, so here we are. 
A post-flight champagne toast