Last year for the first time ever, we had an actual Spring Break at New Life Camp (that is, if you don't count all those years when camp was only going during the summer). I spent that break in Georgia with my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew. So I could think of no better way to spend another break, especially since they added another nephew.
I shall run through the children. The oldest is Will - 4 years old. He is imaginative, fun-loving, and quite funny at times (he knows it to boot). Of late, he becomes what he sees - Superman, David fighting Goliath, the ants fighting the grasshoppers in A Bug's Life, and Mario. He is a well behaved boy for the most part.
The next is Melissa - nearly 3 years old. She is a beautiful little girl with a very tender heart and a stubborn spirit. She's a lot like her mother in that way. She loves Disney Princesses and wrestling with her older brother, quite the interesting mix.
Next up is Macie - approaching the terrible 2's. She is the biggest goofball of a child I have ever seen. She loves to make funny faces and noises. She likes helping her mom clean the house. Unfortunately, she has also found that she likes to bite. She is a bigger person than the other two were at her age. For the most part though, she is a hoot to be around.
Last is Weston, just 3 months old. His personality is yet to be determined as he is simply a baby that loves to eat, cry, and sleep. But he is a beautiful baby and a great addition to this suddenly large family.
There were so many adventures to be had with the children while I was in Chickamauga, GA. We played on a playground, endured Will's pink eye, played a good deal of Super Mario Galaxy, enjoyed Will's impersonation of Nanerpus (the dumb Denny's commercial puppet), cooked spaghetti and banana pudding, watched a Bug's Life, and more.
The big day was a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Somehow, I spent 4 years of college here without a single visit inside. I woke up to Melissa saying, "Come on, Fanul, we go see the ping-ins" (Translation: Wake up, Nathaniel, we're going to see the penguins). So we went. The exhibits were absolutely gorgeous and the fish were humongous. There were so many varieties of fish, that they have two separate buildings for river fish and ocean fish.
The kids were mesmerized by the size and amount as well, and it was great to see the wonder in their eyes. Their was a butterfly exhibit there as well, which I am not sure why, but there were so many butterflies all over the place. We got to see turtles, alligators, sting rays, and best of all, of course, the penguins. When it was done, I bought Will a large rubber snake that caught his eye, a penguin snow globe for Melissa, and a sippie cup with two penguins floating in the middle for Macie. They really enjoyed the trip and so did I.
I couldn't help but note once again the grand variety of animals that resided in our rivers and oceans. I was reminded once again that each one was a paint stroke of our amazing Creator God. How patient He is with the thousands if not millions of people that refuse to recognize Him and say that each of these animals were simply accidents, as are we. Our God being unseen has made Himself clearly seen in His creation, whether it's salamanders, penguins, turtles, or 4 beautiful children who are my nephews and nieces.