Saturday, December 30, 2006

Jetty Betty!

We were gone from December 15th-December 30th. We drove through 7 states & back again. We all got sick. The girls with fever and apparently strep, Gracie got impetigo on her face and they both got fever blisters that made them look hardly anything like they usually look, Chris got fever & chills and a diagnosis of strep, I think I got it as well. Thank goodness for a doctor who figured I would get it and went ahead and gave all 4 of us antibiotics that we're now on!

BUT....we had a good time! I will write much more about it later.

One of the highlights is that I got to meet Jetty Betty and Critter! Truly something great! Betty is almost exactly the way I envisioned her being. Really, what you see online is what you get and I think that's great!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

important date

A date to go down in history!
Thursday, December 14, 2006~approximately 9:00 pm ET~my baby lost her first tooth!

The dentist told her yesterday to work on it because if it didn't come out on its own, he would have to pull it (the new tooth has already popped through!). Here she is working on it this morning. She messed with it pretty much all day and evening and it was really bothering her so with a little help from Daddy, out it came! She's really growing up!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

@ Home for the Holidays

I keep forgetting to say a big "thank you" to Meredith Efken for sending me a complimentary copy of her cute new book, @ Home for the Holidays! I enjoyed reading it very much and hope she will continue to write more about these characters. Thank you, Meredith for sharing this book with me! I like what Betty had to say recently about sharing books with friends, so if anyone would like to read this book let me know and I'll send it to you! Of course, I would like to encourage all of the rest of you to purchase the book! (I need to do my part to drum up business for Meredith!)

Another cute Christmas book I've read recently is The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson. I enjoyed it as well. There are a couple others I've seen advertised that I'd like to read. Anyone read them already? The Great Santa Search looks cute as does Blue Christmas. I need some cure, fun, easy reads for our trip (translation: something I can lose myself in when the 2 year old starts fussing in the backseat!!!!!!)
I had big plans for this morning. I had baked 12 mini loaves of chocolate chip banana bread yesterday (4 loaves from each batch so it was only mixing up 3 different batches) and was planning to walk into the school with Gracie to help her deliver them to her "specials" teachers and the custodian. Well, the alarm went off and Chris hit snooze. I thought, "I should probably get up but maybe not quite yet." I did ask him what time it was. 7:00!!!!!!! 7:35 is the late bell! Although I knew we could make it by then, I wasn't sure we would have time to deliver the bread.

Chris stayed home with Katie and I was able to go in with her and she delivered a loaf to "Miss Barbara" the custodian who is soooo nice. I just left the other loaves in a bag on Gracie's desk with a request to Mrs. Stauffer that Gracie deliver the other loaves during the day. I think I will deliver a few loaves to some neighbors today....if I don't eat them all!

We had made these really good pretzel/Hershey kisses/M&M things earlier in the week that she gave to Coach (her favorite specials teacher of course!) and Mrs. Stauffer and the office people. I, of course, have eaten quite a bit of this baking the last few days!!!!!!

I have all of Mrs. Stauffer's Christmas gift purchased and just need to get it all together and I guess Gracie will take Friday morning. I'm excited about it and hope she'll like it. I'm excited about going on the field trip Friday and helping with her party as well. Such a busy, but fun, day!
I am excited about our trip, although nowhere near ready to leave. I get to see my cousin Andrea which I can hardly wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

the past 2 weeks

Things I have prayed for in the past week or so:

*that God would lead us & guide us to do His will
*that God would make His will clear to us

Chris got contacted about taking a new job in a different city. He was excited about the new possibilities that could come with this job. I was excited about making a move, although sad at the same time. (I hate change!) Seriously, I had sooo many emotions that I really couldn't think straight. I felt like I wanted to cry almost all the time but didn't let the tears fall very often mainly because I was afraid if I started I wouldn't stop!

Getting ready to drive across the country for 2 weeks for Christmas break didn't help my stress level one bit. I didn't know if we were going to get back to town after being gone for 2 weeks and then move 2 weeks later. I was really going kind of crazy! Thinking about moving Gracie in the middle of a school year was positively frightening to me! I know she probably would have been fine-and there was a chance we would have been able to put her in a Christian school-but I was still scared stiff thinking about making that kind of change with such short notice. I'd even thought about homeschooling her for the rest of the year-and I don't typically think about homeschooling my children, although it's fine if others want to do it.

I'm trying to make a long story short, but I'm not sure it's possible. Mom came last week to stay with the girls 2 nights while Chris & I went to check out this other town and the office in that town where he'd be working. Our preacher had talked recently about looking for roadblocks when you're making I was looking, while trying not to be pessimistic. I had been praying that God would make His will clear to us so we wouldn't question it and that He would guide us to do His will.

The town was beautiful and full of fun things to do and places to shop. That's good, right?

We looked at the Christian school. While not completely blown away, I know we could have been happy with it, but I was worried about paying for it. opportunity for Christian education or roadblock???

We talked with a realtor and found out that buying a house not much larger than what we have now would almost double our house payment. roadblock! If we were going to make a move like this, I didn't want to move to a house the same size, or barely larger, than what we have now. I'm no snob who has to have the best of the best, but we really are busting the seams in our house right now. Chris would be getting a raise, but with the cost of living difference it wouldn't seem like too much of a raise. I realize that even buying a different house here would require our house payment to go up, but there's no way we could get for our house here what it could get there.

Chris went to talk to the people in the office. He came back and said it didn't go well and that they were looking for someone completely different than what he had to offer! roadblock! Seriously, the week before (after interviewing in a different town with different people) he had been told that he would receive an offer in the mail that next week (2 days before we traveled to the town we were visiting) then he was told that he should visit the office first then he would receive the offer. When he visited with them he discovered that it wasn't going to be a good fit and he could tell that 5 minutes into meeting with the guy!

We were worried that if he turned down the offer after going through so much with them (interview, reimbursable trips, etc.) that he would look bad. He was prepared to call tomorrow and let them know that it just didn't appear that things were going to work out right now for him & this company. One of the guys called this afternoon and said, "Let's just put things "on ice" for right now." *whew* He agreed with him and that's that! They may resume talks later but for now, we are staying put!

Hooray! Really, I'm not against moving and it probably will happen someday, maybe even with this company, but for now we're staying put and I will be able to go away for Christmas much happier and relaxed. At first, I'd been excited about the move, but when I really started praying for God to guide us to His will, I started feeling this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach about it. It just didn't feel right. I believe that He made us really see some things on this trip that was His way of revealing His will to us.

It's been a weird 2 weeks and I'm glad they're over. Now I can just focus on packing for 2 weeks and driving from South Carolina to New Mexico with a 6 year old and a potty training 2 year old-easy, right? Not to mention the fact that Friday (the day we're leaving and I want to leave as soon as we pick up Gracie from school) I am chaperoning a field trip and attending Gracie's class party. How will everything get done?!?! I don't know but I'm sure it eventually will.

There are other things I could write but I'm tired and there's a lot to get done!

Things I am thankful for: God who takes care of us! my husband & children with whom I really could be happy anywhere! my friends who cried when I told them I was moving! my friends who encouraged me to do what was best for my family! my dad who kept reminding us to pray for the right thing!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Look who's been watching her big sister read!

I walked by Katie's room yesterday and she was laying on her back on her bed "reading" an Arthur story. She had on her sweater, her "unmentionables," and her sunglasses-that's all. It was so cute! I went to get the camera to take a picture, but by the time I was ready she was up & out of the room. Chris "convinced" her to come back and read to him. It is so funny to listen to her "read." Gracie reads all the time so she has had plenty of good examples to learn from!

We're a little stressed around our house right now. We've got a big decision to make and there are positives & negatives to both sides. Please pray for our patience, calmness (mine!), levelheadedness, wisdom and most of all reliance on God to lead us through it all.

"There's never been a mountain that the Lord could not move it. There's never been a single thing that God could not do it. Just when you think you've finally reached the end, there's gonna be a victory like there's never been.....God knows, God hears, God sees, the things that you need."
(lyrics from a song I'm listening to right now. Gives hope to any situation doesn't it?!?!)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tree lighting

Please check out the post down below for pictures we had taken for Christmas. I had put the pictures in a post earlier in the week but just saved them as a draft. As a result, when I finally posted the entry, it put it down as the earlier date that I'd posted the pictures.

Thursday night was the Christmas tree lighting and caroling at Gracie's school. In the group picture (click on it to make it bigger) it is hilarious to see how much smaller Gracie (in the green sweater on the far right) is than the girl standing next to her! These kids are all 1st graders (except for the little on in the front row; she's a teacher's child.) We had a general PTA meeting then each grade level sang a Christmas song then everyone sang some together and lit the tree. It was a bit chaotic, but fun! Katie Boo wasn't so into the Christmas spirit as you can see!

Mrs. Stauffer found Gracie & Hunter and I was able to get a picture of the 3 of them. She was gone to a workshop 3 days this week so she really hadn't been with them too much this week.

Last night, we went to the "Twin Living Christmas Trees" show at one of the local churches. It was really a fantastic show-very moving and focused on Jesus. It is amazing all of the work that goes into a production like that.

This morning, I went up to the school to help set up for the Holiday Store they'll be having next week. I was only able to stay a little while because a lady from church was hosting her annual ladies' brunch & ornament exchange. It was so much fun~and truthfully more fun than setting up the Holiday Store. I did feel bad leaving but I saw our PTA President later in the day and she said it got done and looked great.

This afternoon, Gracie & I did a little Christmas shopping. She had wanted to give money to the bell ringer at Wal Mart the other day and I didn't have any change so she got some of her own money to put in today. Of course, we went to Target which didn't do much good as far as that went, so after shopping we went across the street to Hobby Lobby. She was so excited.

Tonight I'm probably going to work on my Christmas cards and my Bible Class stuff for tomorrow.