• What shall we name her?

    Bringing back the family time! We just couldn’t wait to get back on the water. We both contemplated taking a season away from life on a boat. But when something runs through your blood, you have to pursue those dreams. So a few weeks ago, Rad drove to Maryland and back (in 36 hours!) with this catamaran power boat. It isn’t a sailboat. And we have let that dream go for the moment. That lifestyle is very different, and a sailboat meant a lot of work, lots of tinkering, and lots of things that could break and cost lots of money. And then add Marina fees to that and we just felt like it wasn’t a smart thing to invest in right now. We wanted quick, easy and the ability to explore lots of places we haven’t seen. We also wanted a boat that could take along more people. Why have this amazing dream and not be able to share it with the people around you! We hope to find an appropriate name for her soon. So here’s to many adventures ahead!

    (By the way, I remember the days of trying to put the sailboat in the water. Kids strapped in car for hours, lifting a 300+ pound mast and flipping it upright on the boat, taking over the whole boat ramp for hours while we rigged the boat. This boat took less than 10 minutes to put in the water! I might have jumped for joy just a bit!)

    Update to this post: Having another flashback to all the times we had to work on the sailboat to fix something that broke. Well, on our second venture out on this boat, we realized one of the trailer tires was seized (only after dragging it all the way down our gravel driveway). Rad was too distracted to realize what was happening because he was holding the power lines up with his homemade PVC pole so we could get the boat under it. Real classy over here! Rad had to remove the tire, pull the bearings, and take apart the break rotor before we could head out. In those few hours the kids and I probably asked him 50 times if our day on the water was cancelled. I am sure that wasn’t annoying at all. And then at the end of the day, because we are new at pulling a boat out of the water in winds and currents and low tide where you worry if you will loose your trailer if you pull it down too far, we misguided the boat, slamming it into the trailer, breaking and bending the trailer and putting a hole in the fiberglass. WAY TO GO Team Harrell! Our boat is now at the marina waiting to be fixed. I guess there is no excuse now to get those house projects ramped back up until we have the distraction of the boat again! 

  • Going to the chapel

    I’ve never considered myself a pastor’s wife but when your husband is officiating a wedding and his title on the program is pastor and you are his date….I’m pretty sure you are the “pastor’s wife.” Rad and I had the great opportunity to mentor an engaged couple for a few months. They were so very sweet and asked Rad if he would officiate their wedding. Rad graciously said yes, even though that felt so outside his gifting. But if you would have heard the ceremony, you would have realized how very special and intimate he made their ceremony and how humbly he pointed everything to Jesus.

    Rad and I joked that no one was going to want to sit with the Pastor while we ate dinner. Surprisingly, that opened the door to lots of interesting conversations and I got to see my husband shine and be a light!

  • Many Sides

    Apparently, this lizard taming 6 year old also loves art. He can’t get enough of both of them. He carried this Lizard for over an hour while we walked around the wildlife park. He held in on his shoulder, on his chest, on his hand and it even fell asleep on him. He has a way with animals! I love getting to see so many sides of Mcree. Lately, he can be found at the table with colored pencils drawing birds. The other day he begged to create what I was going to be teaching later that week in art. I told him what we were doing and I came back and he had created a beautiful vase of flowers. Oh how I love him so!

  • “Cheese”

    Me: “Can I take your picture?”

    Mabry: “No!” (then hides).

    Me: (Thinking let me see how stubborn she is, I lay on the floor holding my camera for a good 10 minutes).

    Mabry: (Hides her eyes behind the bench thinking if I can’t see her I won’t take her photo).

    Me: (Thinking surely she has to give in). She didn’t. She won.

    Hopefully this stubbornness will be a helpful skill one day.

  • Date Night with My 9 Year Old

    You know when your heart beats a little fast and you can’t get your thoughts out. That’s how I feel about writing this post.

    On Thursday I asked Gress if he wanted to go walk on the beach together. He looked at me and said, “you have got to be kidding me. You asked me that in 2016 and never took me, YES, I want to go and can we go to dinner too?” First of all, my heart hurt a little from saying one thing and not following through for some time. (Story of my life sometimes). I am still smiling at the way our evening turned out.

    Gress got dressed up, did his hair and looked so handsome. WOW, what an honor to take this guy out for the evening! We went for a long walk on the beach. Gress pretty much carried the conversation and asked lots of great questions, including one of my favorites….”Whats your favorite thing about….the beach?” I realize Gress is a lot like me. He loves the ocean, adventures, deep conversation, and just being together! It was a sweet time. We then headed to the Crab Shack which is kind of touristy restaurant but really fun and we sat right on the water. His face was beaming the WHOLE time we were there. He found such humor at the trash hole in the middle of the table (where you throw shrimp shells, etc). While smirking, he would say, “hey let me get that for you” and then throw my trash in the hole. It cracked us up the duration of our time there. After that we fed the alligators from a fishing pole, said hello to many birds and fat cats and perused the gift shop. This was totally his kind of place.

    He kept thanking me for us getting away and spending time together. I got back and was so in awe at how great a date he was. I was so proud. Rad reminded me that we are finally being able to see the results of our efforts from pouring into him all these years. I have to be honest, I got a little teary walking on the beach, thinking about what his wife would be like and praying that she would be so worthy of this great guy!

  • Sweet Bond

    Oh to have a brother who adores you. The bond between these two is sweet. He loves to make her laugh and will pretty much pull out all his dorky-ness to get just a smirk. The funny thing is, he is usually cracking himself up in the process. The other day, he dressed her up in her princess dress and taught her how to bow (like a boy…funny since he doesn’t know how to courtesy). I love seeing their friendship flourish!

  • A few feet taller

    Reuniting with friends is always sweet. It had been 2+ years since these kiddos hung out and it was so fun to spend the day with them while they were visiting Savannah. I love looking at the photo of them during the last time they were together. How fast these kids are growing up! We miss our adventures with them!

  • “What just happened?”

    When a gaggle of boys says, “Mom, we are going to the pond to see if we can find some frogs,” you wonder what “finding frogs” actually means. This is what the farmer’s wife and I found when we got down there. (See the first photo from a few weeks ago). Their smiles were HUGE and the joy this dirt hole brought them was priceless. My very sweet pregnant friend Melissa was a trooper. Not only did she sit for a long time to let all our children experience the joy of childhood but when Mabry got bit by and ant, she CARRIED my very dirty naked child back to the house (which was a long way!). What a great friend I have! I realized later that my job might have been just as challenging. I had to convince 4 boys it was time to go.

    I love spending time with Melissa. The kids love their time with her kids too. Whatever they do, it’s always a fun adventure. Melissa and I talked a lot about how her next baby would enter this world. She was really trying to avoid another c-section and have a natural birth. As I know from experience, most Dr’s aren’t on board with that train of thought. Luckily she started labor before her dr appointment the next day and headed to Savannah to labor closer to the hospital. Ya’ll…I always knew the farmer’s were gifted but it wasn’t until this night that they really raised the bar. (I realize this isn’t my story to tell so I am leaving most details out).

    She didn’t make it to Savannah because she HAD HER BABY ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD! Let that thought sit with you for a second. THE SIDE OF THE ROAD….just her and the farmer! Of course the farmer was prepared for any emergency and delivered HIS OWN BABY! They looked at each other after and said, “What just happened?” She texted a little bit earlier saying that she was having contractions. Then she texted me a photo of the baby in her lap. WHAT? I asked her if she was ok and her response was, “we are just fine.” FINE? REALLY? Oh how I love this birth story. It makes me tear up all over again at how this is so much better than she could have ever imagined. Had she made it to the hospital she would have surely had a c-section. The paramedics showed up 15 minutes later (they missed the whole show) and she was driven to the hospital where she and their newest little girl were “just fine.” This reminds me of how God story is so much better than anything we could have ever dreamed up!

    I always think relationships are grown in the hard or really challenging times. I can’t imagine the bond this sealed between the farmer and his wife! WOW! So proud of you sweet friend for your courage and reliance! I have so much to learn from you!

  • He is Risen

    We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the grave today! It was quite a celebration at church. Oh how grateful we are that God sent his only son to save us!

    We went to the early church service today so that meant many more hours until we would see Rad. It was a gorgeous day so we headed down to the docks to see the boats and breathe in the salty air and then we went home to paint bird houses. For these kids, I’m praying Easter becomes more about God’s sacrifice of his only son and the resurrection of Jesus and less about chocolate and the little things that can never be more amazing than that moment.