Margaret (Curtis) McDaniel + Curtis McDaniel = Curtis.Squared

May 15, 2019

Our Favorite Week of the Year!

One of the perks of RUF is that we get to go to Panama City Beach, Florida for Summer Conference ("SuCo") every year! We were especially pumped to go because we missed last year due to Drew's birth. It was definitely a good reason not to go, but we were ready this year! I realized it was the longest stretch of time that I've gone between my trips to Florida (16 months). 
The kids were pretty happy on the trip - here's Drew stretching his legs at a Chick-Fil-A on the 2 day trip down.
The girls posed at this rest area in Alabama. I just love their monogrammed dresses!

 We took a small detour to Curtis's childhood home in Montgomery, Alabama.
When we arrived at our destination, we had to go to the beach, even if it was just for a few moments!
Kate had been talking about Florida for over a week, she was thrilled!
Drew wasn't quite sure how to feel about it at first.
We shared a large house right on the beach. The porch was amazing - the girls would go out and look at the water.
 Curtis gave some goals to our students. If we got 12 students to go to SuCo, they could choose his facial hair for the week. If 16 went, they could choose where to put his RUF temporary tattoo. Well, we had 17 come so this was how he looked for the week: half clean-shaven, half grown-out and they wanted the tattoo to be incorporated into his facial hair. Haha! It's a good thing we weren't trying to get professional family pictures! He taught his seminar on Perfectionism like this.
The kids actually preferred the pool over the beach.
On the beach, Drew didn't get to go into the water so I wonder if that was why he preferred the pool! But he did like the sand. Here's a few family pictures on the beach:

This was the first year that I came with some help. Holly made this week actually enjoyable with 3 small kids!! I really needed the extra set of eyes on the beach and hands to lather up the sunscreen. 
Since Curtis works during this week, I am sometimes without him so she was especially needed then. I enjoyed the conversations and time with her after kids would go to bed also.
It's a unique time to connect with other RUF campus minister wives too. We had a special lunch with all the wives and it was really nice to spend time with them!
Our kids also get to connect with other kids from other RUF families. Anna and Kate loved spending time with the kids that were sharing the house with us. I didn't get a picture of it, but they loved holding Drew too!
Watching Netflix on an iPad together
We also spent some time with our students, of course! It was fun to see them with our kids.

Having a meal with our students
Sometimes, Curtis even dressed like his students!
We did get to go to the first part of large group some nights. It was fun to praise God and sing songs with them before we'd put the kids to bed...
...but sometimes they didn't make it home in time!
We had a night out with our group. We have great students and interns! They are hilarious and I really enjoy spending time with all of them. They're already thinking about how they want to outreach to new students in the Fall.
Sadly, Ryan's internship is coming to an end. It is hard to imagine our ministry without him, but we are excited to see how God will use him and Iris next!
This is our entire group (minus Drew):

The week flew by. Memories were made. We look forward to coming back again next year! 
Before I end this post though, I've got to mention that I had to stop by my favorite grocery store, Publix! I know it sounds silly, but I sure miss it after living in Florida and working there. :)

May 14, 2019

One Year of Super Drew!

This cool kid is now 1! He weighed in at 21 pounds and 30 inches, making him my largest child at this age, but he's also thinning out compared to his peers. 
If you stop by our house, you will regularly see Anna carrying him around like this. It's kind of comical.
He is now able to drink out of a sippy cup!
 And this smile - just melts me!
 He longs to do what the big kids do.
 He got some more pool time with the local parent group that I organize!
Here's some more Drew faces on his first birthday:

 Kate loves him too - though Drew doesn't seem to want much to do with her in this picture.
His party was a week later, but we gave him a little cake to practice:
 I think he liked it! (We got more smiles here than at the party.)

Then the girls "helped" him open his gifts from family. All the kids were pretty excited about having some boy toys for a change!

 Next up, Super Drew's First Birthday Party! We had hoped to go to a playground, but the weather was still too cold to enjoy it. Our backup location was an indoor play place. We displayed his monthly pictures and an album of our favorite 200 pictures of his first year. It's always hard to narrow it down, but we have done this for each child! 
It was a challenge to decide on which superheroes to go with. In the end, we decided to go with the Justice League to match his bib. It was a close call though - he was due on the opening night of Avengers Infinity War and his birthday party was during the weekend Avengers Endgame came out!
The kids had fun at the play place during the party!

Our cuisine included Drew's favorite foods - pizza, grapes, clementines, graham crackers, and chips!
And then we sang to the birthday boy! I accidentally stopped the video so it is in 2 parts:
Whew, good thing Curtis blew out the candle in time!
 Here's his inspection of the cake:

He got a few gifts - the struggle is real for the other kids! 

And to complete this birthday season, here is the one year comparison shot of Anna (2014), Kate (2016), and Drew (2019). 
I think he's enjoying being one! And we're so glad Drew completes our family. :)