Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Highlights of 2012

"Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me.  Bless His holy name."

 Since my blogging was pretty much non-existent during 2012, I decided to do a recap of this year.  These pictures capture some of the highlights of the year and serve as a reminder of how blessed the Sowards family has been.

January - - Not that it was such a highlight for
me, but my boys (all 3 of them!) were very excited when Alabama won the National Championship!
Our friends, the Kelleys, were kind enough to let us share the exciting night at their home.

Mason, Conner, Brady, Sara Beth and Landon striking a pose after the big win!

Brady represented his class in the AES spellling bee in 2012.  Although he didn't win, it was a great learning experience and we were very proud of him!

February - - Conner got his braces and Mom and Dad got another monthly bill!  Woo-hoo!  

Below is a picture of Brady's Valentine's Day box for the decorating contest.

Brady performed in AES's annual talent show.  He played the piano and did an outstanding job!

Fast forward to warmer weather and Easter.  Here is our annual family picture from Easter Sunday:

No more single digits in the Sowards home...Brady is now 10!!!

I don't think there was a special occasion here...just an awfully good picture of my three handsome guys!

Conner participated in his last program as a member of the Carolina Baptist Church Made for Praise Children's Choir!  Here he is with the other 6th graders:

Of all of the accomplishments that my boys have made and will make through the years, memorizing scripture is one that will remain in their hearts.  I am thankful for our AWANA program,  for Jesse and Sandy Self and all of the leaders that have given so much to the children in our church.

Brady with Nana and Daddy Jim at his end of the year honors program.  He got an award for all A's and a perfect attendance for the entire year (he was most proud of the perfect attendance!).

Conner walking down to receive his academic awards at the AMS 6th grade honors program.  We were so excited when Conner received the Highest Average award in one subject and tied for the same award in another!  We hope his deisre to excel in academics continues!

Both boys played baseball again in the spring.  Brady played for the Brewers and Conner for the Diamondbacks. Once again, we lived at the ballpark from March til June, but enjoyed watching our boys on the field!

In June, we took a family vacation to Atlanta and hit several of the hotspots.  Here, Conner and Brady pose for a pic at the Atlanta Zoo...

...at the World of Coke....

...at the Georgia Aquarium...
...at the Natural History Museum...
...at the CNN studios...

...at Underground Atlanta...
...and at the Braves game!

Also in June, Brady and I ran in our first 5K.  Here we are with Ty, Ben, Kelley, Allie and Mendy, who also ran in the Alligator Trot at Lake Jackson in Florala.

 In July we took a trip to Panama City Beach with the Kelley family.

The Kelley cousins:  Conner, Jackson, Brady, Dylan and Brynne

Also in July, we went to Lake Martin with the Jacobs' family. 

When we finally settled down from our trips, we stayed home long enough to welcome a new member to our family, Mac!  We needed a friend for our dog, Toby and decided to get another dog.  How cool is it that Mac is actually Toby's younger half-brother!

One of our favorite times of summer is getting together with friends for day trips and fun adventures.
Sara Beth, Aubry, Amy, Jenna Kate and Allie...

Ty, Mason, Brady, Conner, Landon and Andrew

The start of school brought new adventure to the Sowards home...FOOTBALL!  Conner played for the AMS football team.  We loved going to the games and watching the Bulldogs!

 First day of school 2012...Brady 5th grade...Conner 7th grade

This boy LOVES soccer! 

Conner also played basketball for AMS and learned a lot! Notice he is sporting #33 again...his daddy's #!

Below is a picture of Brady with all of our stuff set up for Piggie Pie.  I started doing this book / snack with Conner's class when he was in first grade and have done it with the boys' classes every year since then.  This photo marks the end of Piggie Pie for our family as this is Brady's last year at AES.  Piggie Pie in middle school would NOT be cool!

Did I mention that Brady LOVES soccer?? His All-star team won the district tournament in Troy this year and went on to represent Andalusia well at the State Tournament.  I am looking forward to watching this group in the years ahead.  They are amazing!

It's official!  We have a teenager!  Conner turned 13 on December 6!

I love this picture of Conner!  He is not a little boy anymore! This was made at the AMS Basketball banquet in December. 

And Brady is growing up, too!  He participated in his last AES Christmas program this year.

 Mama Gin, Papa Pete and all the grandkids at their house for Christmas.

Me and my handsome husband!

Christmas Day 2012

And finally, our traditional picture in front of the tree...

So as 2012 has come and gone, the Sowards family can once again say, "We have been blessed!"  In my prayer journal, I have written at the top of each page a quote from Journey magazine: "Let me be a blessing to my family members.  Let them see Jesus in me."  Although that is my daily prayer, I know I fall short far more times than I succeed. But either way, it is my desire.  And although I am not into making New Year's resolutions, my prayer is that my friends, coworkers, students, church, acquaintances...but most importantly my husband and my children will be able to see Jesus in me more in 2013 than they did in 2012!
Happy New Year!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


As I read back through my blog, I find myself missing those lazy days of summer and realizing that due to the busyness of life, I haven't updated since July! But then I realize that the reason my life is so busy is because of the many blessings I have been given!

So whether it has been winding up a summer of golf lessons.....

.....spending a Saturday with my 3 favorite guys learning about the history of our great state....

.....watching a Biscuits game with great friends....

(by the way, Mason has obviously hit a growth spurt that Conner hasn't!)

....or heading back to school.....

.....enjoying an afternoon in the backyard....

....or spending an afternoon at the lake with family.....

....God has reminded me that while He desires for us to be still and spend time with Him, He also gives us seasons in our life that are busy......busy with the blessings He has given us!

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him......Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

Colossians 3: 17 & 23