Maggie was Baptized Today!!

What an amazing day for the House of Hills. Lots of tears, lots of smiles, and lots of hugs. Maggie showed the world that she loves Jesus today by being baptized during the Family Birthday Celebration, and Daddy got to do the baptizing!!

The tears started when Mommy dropped Maggie off with the other kids who were going to be baptized (most of whom were bigger than she). Then the service started, and all the kids were just amazing! What a pure love of Jesus in their hearts. It was wonderful to watch. 
Then, right in the middle, my precious Maggie was on the screen. Her beautiful and succinct declaration of her love for Jesus made my heart sing. Then, there was my amazing husband, standing in the baptismal telling her how proud we are of her and how much God will love her always. It was obvious that he was Maggie’s daddy, and I heard lots of “Oh, how sweet, that’s her daddy!” around me. And saw lots of teary eyes. 
What was so beautiful was watching Maggie’s earthly father clearly display the love of her Heavenly Father through his words and tears as he baptized her. I was so overwhelmed by emotion that I can’t wait to see it again on video so I can enjoy it more thoroughly. 
Once all the kids were baptized, Danny Dukes led us in a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” and then asked us to rock it out with “We Shine” by Steve Fee. What finished off the tears was during the chorus – We are the redeemed. We are the ones who are free. And we belong to Jesus! – they flashed the pictures of the kids who were just baptized and who had just proclaimed that they belong to Jesus on the beat of the song. They a

lso walked the kids out to stand on the front steps of the stage. SO POWERFUL!!!!
Then, all the parents, grandparents, small group leaders, and prayer partners were invited on stage to pray with the kids. After that prayer, we headed to the Kidstuf 
theater for cake and party time. 
It was an amazing afternoon and one we will never forget. Many than
ks to all at North Point Community Church that participated and made it happen

Maggie's First Test

Maggie took her first ever test today! It was a vocabulary test. She has a list of vocabulary words and spelling words each week to work on. Vocabulary tests are on Thursdays and spelling tests are on Fridays.

Maggie had to read the words and sentences to her teacher. She made NO MISTAKES! We were very proud of her. It’s hard to believe my kid is at the weekly test taking stage. 
Maggie is adjusting pretty well to the first grade schedule. She’s looking forward to library and computer lab next week.

First Day of Gymnastics

Maggie started her weekly gymnastics class this afternoon and had SO MUCH FUN!!! She was so excited throughout the entire hour bouncing up and down and clapping with a big grin on her face. She wasn’t the most coordinated girl in her group, but that did not keep her from trying her hardest to do all the things they asked. 

The best part of gymnastics is that Olivia M is in with her. Mommy had no idea when she signed up that Olivia was also in the class so it was a great treat. Mommy and Olivia’s mommy were pregnant together and the girls are only a few days apart. In fact, going to see Olivia in the hospital was the first time Mommy left Maggie after her birth. Us parents were in small group together for three years so it’s great fun to be hanging out with Olivia every week.

First Day of First Grade

We have started “real” school in the House of Hills. Maggie began first grade today, and it is VERY different than kindergarten.
Maggie went to Meet and Greet last Thursday and was SO EXCITED to start school. This morning finally came, and Mommy drove her to school so she could take pictures. Maggie walked in the classroom and didn’t look back. I didn’t even get a good-bye kiss. There are several kids from the neighborhood in her class as well as her good friend, Kate, from church. She was allowed to sit by Kate today which was a major treat.

Mags got off the bus this afternoon looking pretty worn out. When I asked if she had a good day, she said, “Not really. We had to just sit there a lot.” I tried very hard not to smirk as I thought, “Welcome to real school kid.” 
When we got home, we immediately started our new routine and made sure all the papers went in the right place and everything got unpacked.
Mommy had set up a homework area for Mags on the dining room table across from her computer so they could work together.  Maggie wanted to do homework right away so we sat down to do that as soon as possible. She had even brought a text book home! Talk about REAL school! She has vocabulary and spelling words and will have two tests this week – Thursday vocab and Friday spelling.  

After discussing the day some more, we discovered that it wasn’t so boring, just very different from Kindergarten. She told us a lot about her day, and seemed to think it was actually pretty good. She is anxious for tomorrow when it won’t be as much of “the teacher just telling us stuff.”
Trying to fall asleep tonight was VERY difficult.  It took her almost an hour and a half to calm down enough to fall asleep. She came out and complained “I just keep having thoughts in my head. I can’t stop thinking about stuff.” I totally empathized and let her finish her chapter book, which seemed to do the trick as it is finally quiet up there. The girl is very much like her mama.

End of Summer

Maggie finished out her summer in style!

She did one week of gymnastics camp and then a three day cheerleading camp at Chattahoochee High School.  The best thing about cheerleading camp is that Maggie gets to be with friends from NPCC weekday.  
The craziest thing about cheerleading camp is that 
Mommy has flashbacks every time she walks in the gym since both of her brothers graduated from there.  Also, some of the high school girls are girls that Mommy taught way back when!

We spent the last few days of vacation hanging out as a family and got a couple more good swims in. 
Looking back, I would say it was an awesome summer.  Mags had a great time and so did her parents. I’m in the process of making a photo book for Maggie of all her summer activities and there were tons! She’s already talking about what she wants to do next year!

The Water Slide

Mags has finally conquered a major fear – the water slide!  Today at Lifetime Fitness Mommy encouraged her to try the slide.  After explaining that it wasn’t much longer than the slide she had just gone down at the aquarium and promising to do it too, Mommy got Maggie to walk up the stairs.

Once up the stairs, Maggie began to have MAJOR second thoughts.  As she was deciding not to go, a little boy at least one year younger said “I’ll go!” and went down.  Well, that was the last straw. Maggie was not going to be outdone by someone smaller. So, down she went. There was quite the scream as she entered the turn so I wasn’t sure what I’d find when I met her at the bottom. As promised, Mommy went down too, and when we met at the side of the pool, Maggie was all grin and the dimples were shining. 
“That was AWESOME!!!” she said.  When asked why she screamed, she looked at me and said, “Because I was so excited. I want to go again.”  
Needless to say, Mommy then moved our things to be closer to the slide and sat down in a lounge chair to watch.  She went over and over and over.  I totally lost track of how many times. Even when it was time to go, I kept hearing “Just one more time!”  
Mommy and Daddy are so proud of her conquering her fear.  Does this mean a roller coaster at Disney? Hmmmm….

Georgia Aquarium

Maggie and Mommy joined the NPCC Weekday program on their first ever field trip today.  We went to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta and had an awesome time.

Mommy’s group included Erin, Maggie, Emily, and Olivia.  They did a great job of sticking together and following directions while we explored the aquarium and saw some really amazing things.  
The kids have been studying God’s Creation, and what a way to really see it up close.  All those different types of fish – awesome really.  Makes you seriously want to know what He was thinking about some of them – strange stuff.  The girls got to see many, many tanks of fish and even touched some sharks, rays, and shrimp.  Yes, they did wash their hands – OFTEN!
The big bonus for Maggie was that she got to spend the day with Emily.  Since the girls were in both the same threes and pre-K class, they’ve missed each other during Kindergarten as they only got to see each other on Sundays.  Witness the LOVE!

Small Group Reunion

July 12, 2008
The Hill ladies, the Ashers, and the Eliots descended on the McCune home for a small group reunion.  We were missing the Loyolas to make it a complete group.  
The kids had an awesome time playing in the pools, eating hotdogs, and ending the evening with ice cream.  
Thank you McCunes for such a wonderful evening!

Camp Highlands

July 7 – 11, 2008

Maggie attended Camp Highlands Day Camp this year for the first time.  She had an amazing experience and couldn’t wait to get there each day.  She loved the many events they had planned during the day including water play, arts and crafts, worship, and outdoor play.  Each day, they also did an activity on a challenge course.  Unfortunately, Maggie didn’t participate in these, but she did get close to going on the zip line.  She got the gear on, but then decided no.  Her friends and counselors were very understanding and supportive.

The week ended with an assembly of all the campers where they sang and performed skits for the parents.  We parents totally enjoyed it, and it was wonderful to see them all worshipping together.