Saturday, July 29, 2006

No time to 'spare,' Gracie's birthday is here!

Friday was Gracie's family birthday party with Grammer & Pappy and Uncle Josh, Aunt Beth, Ann Elise & Morgan. While waiting for my brother & family to arrive, Gracie got in some practice on her new bicycle. She did great! She & Katie also splashed in the pool. Putting our feet in helped lower the temperature alot! After they arrived, they swam & played on the swingset while Chris grilled some yummy hamburgers. We ate inside because the mosquitos were getting bad then we had strawberry icing cupcakes and Gracie opened gifts. She was blessed immensely by aunts & uncles, grandparents & us.This is a 'Madeline' activity book from Aunt Erin. This is a bracelet making kit from Grammer & Pappy. She will love doing this! This is from Gramps & Gramme. When we opened it up, we realized that I'd bought the "old" version so Chris had to go find the right one. All is good now.

Saturday was the friend birthday party and it was alot of fun! Grammer & Pappy graciously agreed to watch Katie & baby Morgan (5 months) so we could have our hands free at the party. I thought the party went really well! It was lots of fun watching the kids bowl and they all did well. Gracie actually won which I thought was neat! There were 7 children along with assorted parents. I have an absolutely wonderful picture of the 7 of them but not all of my friends are into blogging so I try to be respectful by not posting pictures of their children since I think some of them might not like it. It's really tempting though because it's a cute picture where they're all making silly faces.
I loved the bowling party because it was a relatively easy party which is always nice. I showed up and did a little decorating. The man had the lighter balls picked out, gave them instuctions on how to be safe & how to bowl, put the names into the computer and put the food out onto the table. After it was over, we cleaned up a little but that pretty much just included taking things to the van and throwing away some plates. It was not too expensive either which is always a great thing! I totally copied the cake from Stephanie! She had posted a picture of Kolby's cake and I showed it to my friend who was making Gracie's. My friend liked the cake and thought she could make it and she did a great job! Gracie is blessed with having good friends. Many whom she has known since before she was a year old and some who have just become friends in the last year. I love how God places people in our lives!
After most of the house napped, we went to dinner at this great fish place called 'Old McDonald's Fish Camp.' It is goooood! They have all-you-can-eat grits & hushpuppies to go along with your meal. You get your grits out of a big barrel which is neat. I got the fried catfish & fried shrimp. I didn't say it was healthy, I just said it was good!

Yesterday afternoon before we went to dinner, Mom helped me get the roast ready for the crockpots for Sunday's lunch. Since there were 6 adults & 3 children, I needed a pretty big roast and ended up getting 2 and using both of my crockpots. I copied the recipe from the comments section of Mandy's blog and it was really good! We had lots leftover and that is just fine with me because it will be great for lunch and maybe even dinner this week. It cooked in the crockpot from about 11 last night until about 12:30 this afternoon. The bigger roast was still a little tough so I actually ended up cooking it alot longer into this afternnoon with the hope that it would get more tender. (Mom's suggestion!)
We had church this morning then home for Sunday lunch. It was nice filling up a row at church with our family. After everyone left, I took a great nap! We had Life Group tonight then went out to eat afterwards. We had a good discussion at Life Group about the importance of fellowship within a Christian family. I'm tired but needed to update the blog. I find it to be quite therapeutic! It was a good weekend! Gracie, Katie, Ann Elise & Morgan. I love this picture of Katie with Grammer.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to my baby!

Happy 6th birthday to my sweet girl! Today Gracie is 6, although I told her that she's not really 6 yet since she wasn't born until 10:56 am (Texas time) and it isn't that late in the day yet. To her....she's 6! Here are a few pictures of her last few birthdays. Hard to believe she's 6. I know I will be adding many, many more pictures throughout the day & weekend. It's going to be a fun one. Her 6th birthday morning. I love the look of sheer happiness on her face as she opens her new "soft" lunchbox. Apparently, "soft" lunchboxes are the "cool" thing to have and she'd requested one.
Her 5th birthday tea party.

Her 4th "Nemo" birthday party.
Her 3rd "Strawberry Shortcake" birthday.
Her 2nd "Ladybug" birthday party.
Our 1 year old baby.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kelsi's Kind Heart

Chris & I used to live in Texas. I started ACU in August '91 and didn't leave Texas until May 2001. Of course, I did spend some of those summers back home in Atlanta before I got married in August '94.

We lived in Abilene, Lubbock & Uvalde, in that order. While in Uvalde, there was a little girl named Kelsi Robinson who attended our church who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. We didn't know the family well but the town was small enough that pretty much everyone knew about her. Kelsi passed away in March at the age of 13. She suffered terribly for a good portion of her life and I know she is missed greatly by her family.

Every now & then, Chris & I will read the Uvalde paper online. It's fun to read some of the articles and see if we know anyone. Since this is quite the small town, chances are we usually know at least one person in one of the articles. I'm especially interested in reading the school board meeting updates & stories about the school district in general. Uvalde is where I taught 3 of my 4 years and I'm always interested in seeing if I know any of the teachers, administrators or students mentioned.

Today when I was reading it, there was an article about Kelsi and it mentioned a website that her parents have started. It is called "Kelsi's Kind Heart." I went to the site and browsed through it. One of the pages on the site is called Random Acts of Kindness and it talks about different little things we can do for people to show kindness. Apparently Kelsi was the kind of person who often did these types of things for people. At the bottom of the page, it said to contact Kelsi's parents if we knew of a sick child and they would send them a care package. I emailed Michelle, Kelsi's mom, and told her about Carley, the little girl at Gracie's school who suffered from the brain tumor last year.

I didn't know if I'd hear back from Michelle but this evening she called me! I had probably spoken to her once or twice when we lived in Uvalde, but she said she did remember me from before we had children. (Uvalde was predominately our "pre-children" days!) She thanked me for my words I'd written her and wanted Carley's address so she could send her a care package. Her grief is still very fresh of course but she said doing things like this help alot.

She also asked me to please get the word out about the website to anyone I could. I assured her that I would do so. Please take a moment to look at the website and maybe drop her a note of care & encouragement. I know she could use it.

Kelsi's Kind Heart
Off topic.......if any of you have any Bible reading recommendations, please comment on the last post. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

recommended Bible reading

I have a question for my friends out there. I've been trying to set aside time each day (trying!) to read the Bible with Gracie. I don't mean from a Bible storybook or a child's devotional book but just the good 'ole Bible. I feel it's important for her to see us reading it and to get into a habit of reading it. She has her own Bible that is NIRV (New International Readers Version...basically an NIV written in simpler words & phrases for ages 6-10...still the "real" Bible) and she enjoys reading it while we're at church and stuff but I want her to get into the habit of reading it each day and learning from it. When school starts, I'd like to have this reading time at breakfast before we leave for school.

I'm having trouble knowing exactly what to read to her from the Bible. I have done some different things. I'll ask her to tell me a story she'd like to hear and I'll find that and read it to her. I've read her a couple of the stories of the characters from VBS, and I've been reading some of Proverbs to her.

The problem is I'm not sure if she's getting anything out of it. Even the stories have so much that aren't in the typical children's Bible storybook that I'm afraid it's confusing her. When I read the story of Esther to her, if I said the word v-i-r-g-i-n once, I said it 5 times! She never asked me what it was but I was nervous that she was going to. Maybe that's not a big deal but it was a cause of concern for me. In Proverbs, there are some things that seem like they would be confusing to her. The funny thing is that sometimes I think she's probably not paying attention or doesn't understand and then she'll comment about something and it shows that she is listening. Other times, she just sits quietly and doesn't comment.

Of course, we still have our Bible storybooks and our "life application" type stories and our Veggie Tales Devotional book and all of those wonderful books for children that we will still read to her. I just know that I need to read the Bible more and feel I should begin encouraging her to read it daily also.

Just to give you an idea of what she is capable of for those who may not know, she is almost 6 (I have until Friday!). She has completed Kindergarten and can read well above grade level. She can read from her Bible very well. She is a very literal child, inquisitive about things and into "following the rules." That doesn't mean that she always does everything right but she's the type that will tattle on herself if she even thinks she's done something wrong. Based on her age and where she is maturity wise, can any of you recommend to me specific parts of the Bible that we could read to her~or she could read to us? I think it's important to read the "real" Bible to her even though she is young. I don't want to shy away from it just because parts of it may be a little too "old" for her right now (think Song of Solomon or Revelations!) but I want to read the parts that she'll get the most out of. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mundane post

My favorite toilet bowl cleaner: Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner (Rain Clean Scent)
My favorite kitchen/bathroom cleaner: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (Lemon & Fresh Scents)
Here's my bargain of the week: I needed Pull-Ups for Katie last night. (One day, I promise she will be potty trained!) Chris knew I was going out and wanted a Starbucks. In our little town, the only place to get one is at Kroger. I debated with whether to go to Wal Mart to get the Pull Ups since I knew they'd be cheaper and then go to Kroger for the coffee or just bite the bullet and pay a little more for the Pull Ups at Kroger. That way I'd only be stopping once. (The 2 stores are basically right across the street from each other so it's not like I'd have to use alot of gas either way.)

I did have a $2.00 off coupon for the Pull Ups so I was already happy about that. When I was at Kroger, I noticed the Pull Ups had a '$1.50 off' coupon stuck on the package. I didn't figure I could use both of the coupons at the same time but got them anyway. Lo & behold (what does that mean anyway?!!?) they did let me use both of them so I got the Pull Ups for $3.50 off! Now that's a good deal! AND I didn't have to drive to 2 places to get our Starbucks! (I know, I know, the little things in life make me happy!)
Gracie had a sleepover with her friend Kira Sunday night after Life Group. They had such fun! Kira said to Gracie, "I wish you were my sister!" When I left them at 11:45, they were in the Princess tent. When I checked on them 10 minutes later, they were in her bed. When I checked on them at 5:30 am, they were both back in the tent! They had alot of fun and put up with the little 2 year old sister remarkably well. Kira is an extrememly sweet & polite friend that I'm glad Gracie has!
Welcome to the world, Greenlee Savanna! Kate (who used to blog) had her precious baby girl Sunday morning!
I've got menus to plan, goodie bags to make, a house to clean, etc. for this weekend. My parents and my brother, sister-in-law and 2 nieces are coming for Gracie's birthday! We'll have a "family party" Friday night and a "friend party" (bowling!) Saturday morning. We plan to go to this awesome catfish place Saturday night with family then I plan to fix a roast for Sunday dinner (I copied the recipe out of MDM's comments the other day!) It will be a busy but great weekend that will fill our memory banks with happiness!
I was humbled yesterday~I'm not sure if 'humbled' is the right word. I found out that alot of things have been done/are being done for a couple of families at church that I really didn't know about. I guess it just humbled me because it reminded me that sometimes I don't know what some people are doing to help~and it's really probably not any of my business anyway. There have been some large things done financially for at least one of these families and it's all been done relatively quietly.

I'm just impressed at some of the things that have been done and hope to one day be in a position to help others that way. I also hope that I'll look for opportunities to serve in ways that I already can. I may not can help financially like some people have, but I can serve in so many other ways that don't cost much. I hope that I'll do so. It also made me feel "less sorry" for myself because we really don't have it all that bad. Sometimes it's easy to think, "Oh, I wish I had a better........" or "This is broken and not so great. Let's get a new one." Some people are so much worse off and never complain and always have a smile for others. I hope I will always count my blessings. I grew up with my dad telling me that over & over. "Count your blessings, daughter" is what he'd say.
Our family had an opportunity last week that presented itself. It just wasn't the right opportunity.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Katie's room

Chris finished painting Katie's room today and we really like it! There are a few places he needs to touch up, but for the most part it's done! One good thing about her room being so small is that it didn't take long to paint. It was kind of hard choosing a green but I'm happy with what we chose. It's called "Key Lime."

Of course, there are still things I'd like to do. I have a curtain on her closet instead of a door. It's just something simple made out of a sheet with some fringe at the top. It's yellow with blue & yellow fringe which is technically fine, but I'd like to find something with more pink in it. I was originally thinking pink & white gingham but now I'm thinking of trying to find something more "vintage-y." I plan to make some simple panel curtains for the window out of the same fabric. I'm very limited in my sewing abilities but I do have a sewing machine and can make a decent panel. Not good, but decent! I'll have to keep my eyes open for a sale somewhere and maybe I can find something I like. I'd also like to enlarge a picture of the girls together and frame to put on the wall somewhere in her room. Maybe the one of them holding hands walking that I posted awhile back. I'm not sure.

I still love the cornice board that my friend Kym painted for me before Katie was born. She had originally painted it "generic" since we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, but after Katie came along it was about to kill both Kym & I for it not to look more "girly" so she revised it. It is so pretty! If we ever move out of this house, I think it will be coming with me. It's also special because my friend painted it for me! She also painted the picture above the dresser. It's made out of a ceiling tile! It's perfect for her room!

Katie is still missing her "real" bed and is currently sleeping on a roll-away bed. Her "new" bed should be coming this weekend when my parents come for Gracie's birthday. I've seen it in my parents' garage. Mom had part of it repaired and has been painting it. I can't wait to see it in her room because I think it'll be so cute!
I spent a large part of yesterday and today cleaning out our laundry room. For anyone who has ever seen it, you know what a task that it! It's pretty much a laundry/computer/deep freeze/microwave/catch all room and it catches alot more than it should! Chris wanted it done before my family comes this weekend and since he was painting, I got "assigned" this task. It was alot of work and we threw away alot of stuff but it's very rewarding to see the neatness. If only we can keep it this way! I wish I'd taken a "before" picture and I'd post an "after" picture. I think I would have been too embarrassed to post the "before" picture though!

Friday, July 21, 2006

for God's glory

One of the songs on our VBS cd has really gotten my attention lately. They are all really good songs but I wanted to write about this one right now. Here are part of the lyrics:

Everything we do can be used by you
so we give it our best
and we ask for you to bless it
Everything we do can be used by you
when we live by your commands
you will take the work of our hands
and use for your glory
Everything we do!
I think this song really spoke to me this week because we had a meeting at church about some new curriculum for Bible Classes. I said I would come up some things to go along with the curriculum for one of the classes and I was kind of stressing about it: will people like it? will I do alot of work for nothing? what if people criticize it? what if I mess up? what if it doesn't get used? etc.
I heard this song and felt better. I figure God knows our hearts and He is in control and we want His will to be done so I should pray and do my best and let Him guide the effort. JettyBetty had blogged today about her job and she said that she prayed that God will use it for His glory somehow. I'm sure he will!
We went to Chick~Fil~A tonight with one of Gracie's little school friends, Hunter, and his family. Truth be told, if she had a boyfriend, he'd be it! But, since she's waaaay tooooo young for that (and we tell her that!), they're just good friends, but they sure do like each other alot! He had gone on vacation to Gatlinburg a week or so ago and bought her 2 presents~with his own money! I thought that was so sweet! At the Disney store, he bought her a "Dory" stuffed fish and he also bought her a cup that says 'Best Friends' on it. They really get along so well and just seem to be comfortable talking and playing. Sure, they disagree at times but they usually just work it out.
When they were playing on the playground, Gracie came running out in her bare feet *yuck* and said, "Khamron's here!" Khamron is certainly one of the sweetest little boys from her class last year. I truly loved that kid! He has manners which are shown by his politeness and he was always a joy to work with when I'd tutor. And smart! Boy, that kid can read! Anyway, it was fun to watch them play. When they were leaving, he came over and gave me & Gracie a hug! He's just so sweet! I would love for he & Gracie & Hunter to all be together again next year. He was there with his aunt and she was surprised that Gracie was their age. She is small for her age but I assured her that yes, she was. Although she's not even 6 yet and Hunter was 6 in October and I think Khamron was 6 quite awhile back too, so she really is quite a bit younger but still in the same school grade.
We went to the GAP tonight at our mall. It happens to be a GAP outlet store and they were having a sale! I mean, a sale! They had some cute baby sandal for 30% off $2.97! Katie's foot was too fat and I was soooo sad! I bought a couple of baby gifts and my friend found some denim capris & khaki capris for Gracie for cheap! They are sooooo cute and I've been wanting something like that that she can wear with all sorts of different shirts. They're 6 slim and adjustable waist so they can be worn for a looooong time! (Seriously, I know it may be considered rude to talk about how much things cost but I think these pants were originally $19.99 and I got the denim ones for $6 something and the khaki ones for $4 something!) I even bought a skirt for $4 something and a dress for $9 something. BARGAINS!
Chris just about has Katie's room finished and I love it!

She completed it!

Certificate of completion....that's what Gracie got today from her swimming teacher. She completed Level 1! We're really proud of her. By no means can she really swim yet, but her confidence level and the amount of new things she did this week is great! We would like to put her into Level 2 lessons, but I'm not sure if it will be this summer or not. I would like to but I'm just not sure if the timing will work out. He said she probably wouldn't pass the Level 2 test at the end because of some of the things they have to do but I'm sure it would help her increase her abilities and she could always take the class more than once. She started doing so much better about putting her head back when he would help her to float. Here's Monday's picture and here is Wednesday's picture:
She also got so brave about going under, even without holding her nose.He would put rings & things down there for them to try and get. She never could get it off the very bottom but she went under alot trying! Sometimes she wouldn't go all the way under but would at least get her face wet and then other times she would go under all the way. She did great with it!

Chris was able to videotape the lesson (with a little help from an extension cord borrowed from the swim manager because someone~not me~forgot to charge the battery last night. I'm glad we'll have this addition to all of our other "Gracie movies."
Last night we went out for pizza and Katie was hilarious! Let me tell you, this little girl has some personality and it is least to us it is. She is talking in complete sentences much more often now and if she thinks it, she's going to say it. The waitress brought us our plates before the pizza got there. As she was walking up, Katie said, "I wan some." The waitress set the plates down and walked away and Katie turned around, held out her arm (like she was flagging her down) and said, (very loudly) "Hey! I wan some pissa!" It was funny although we tried to tell her that that certainly was not a nice way to talk to a waitress!
Chris has been painting Katie's room this afternoon and the girls & I went outside into the little kiddie pool. Yes, even I got in. It's a hot day and it's big enough for me to sit in and read. Of course, I had Chris drag it over to the other side of the yard farthest away from the road so hopefully noone driving by saw me! We live on a corner and the side closest to the road is fenced in but not with a privacy fence or any shrubs to block the view. I certainly didn't want to prance around in my bathing suit in front of all the neighbors! *shudder*

Monday, July 17, 2006

You know what my favorite thing is?

Swimming! That's what my very timid almost 6 year old said this morning after her very first swimming lesson. Swimming is her favorite thing. She also told her daddy that she can't wait to go back tomorrow! Yippee for Zach being a great swim teacher! He was probably about 17 years old and not real talkative but did a great job. For some reason, Gracie allowed him to do things that she never would have allowed Chris or I to do. (We know because we've tried!) Of course, my kids always tend to be better for other people than for us anyway! One of her little friends from school last year had taken lessons earlier in the summer and her mom told me last week that if we got Zach it'd be good because he did a good job.

Gracie did SUCH A GOOD JOB! I am SO PROUD OF HER! I really couldn't have asked her to do much better! I prayed about it; we prayed about it; we talked about it and God really pulled through on giving her courage. She didn't do everything Zach wanted her to do but she didn't cry or fuss or whimper or anything like that. She did the little nervous giggle that she gets when she's scared & nervous. She just really did super!

Katie wanted so bad to be in the pool with her. She kept inching closer & closer. She'd say, "My turn!" and "Takea hoff my shoes." (translation: take off my shoes) One time she even said, "Peas, Mommy." (translation: please, mommy) I really did feel for her. I guess maybe next year we'll look at getting her in to some lessons. I'm going to take them out into our
little kiddie pool in just a little bit.

Here are some pictures from her first day.
Don't you just love the relaxed way she practices floating on her back?!!? HA!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for helping my sweet girl to be brave! Please help her to learn how to safely enjoy water. Help us to know how to fully trust You!
In Jesus' Name,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dear Myself

Gracie had been writing in her journal yesterday morning and had left it sitting on the coffee table. I love seeing what she writes so I picked it up later in the day to browse through it. I started laughing so hard when I saw what she had written. It is a really fuzzy picture but it says, "Dear Myself," and continues on to tell about how she is excited to jump in the jumpers. (We had those big inflatable bouncers at our Family Day Picnic yesterday.) I thought that was so funny! Not only does she talk to herself but she now writes to herself as well! Of course, isn't that kind of what blogging is?!?!
Katie totally adores "Mr. Ben." He is one of the elders at our church and for some reason she has really taken to him lately. When we go to the building for playgroup he'll sometimes come out to the car to see if we need help getting in or open the door or come down to where we're playing. She'll say, "Ben! Ben!" It's so cute to see them hold hands and walk down the hall. I know it makes him happy and I truly enjoy seeing my children interact with the older members of our congregation. I think that's so important!
The Family Day Picnic was a success. Everyone pitched in so well to help "take down VBS." It didn't take nearly as long to get it all down as it did to get it all put up! After we got home, the girls & Chris were heading towards a nap. I decided to run away from home for just a little bit. I went to a movie~by myself and got a pedicure. I went to Hobby Lobby & Target then headed home. Chris got the girls fed then we gave them baths and put to bed. After relaxing together for awhile, Chris went to the movies~by himself. I wrote some thank you notes and headed to bed just shortly before he came home. Since he'd taken a nap, he ended up staying up late. (It was already after 1 when he got home but he stayed up even later!)
Katie did great this morning going to Bible Class~no fussing! Yea! I guess the other day was a fluke. I just hope it doesn't happen again! We went to Applebee's with a gift card someone had given us. The girls & I napped this afternoon while Chris went to the gym. Life Group was tonight where we had a very good discussion about when Jesus comes back to earth and where exactly a soul goes when a Christian dies (Heaven right away vs. Paradise???) and what form we'll have in Heaven etc. etc. etc. etc. Some deep things that we pondered. We kind of ended up concluding that we as humans see things in such an "earthly form" and Heaven is going to be so "un-earthly" that there's just no way for us to fully comprehend it. We just need to believe, follow the Bible, and trust in God! I liked what one person said, It only took God 7 days to make the world and look how great it is. Jesus has been gone from the earth for over 2000 years and has been preparing Heaven for us. Imagine how wonderful it will be!
My friend Holly had her baby boy this week. Welcome to the world, Andruw!
Gracie starts swimming lessons this week. She needs prayers for courage as she is very nervous! I think the teacher probably needs prayers too for the ability to deal with a 5 year old who's probably going to freak out!
Miss Suzanne who I mentioned a few weeks ago has a return of cancer.
Dear Lord,
Thank you for Andruw's safe arrival to this world! Please be with Kate who is anxiously awaiting the birth of her little girl. Give her comfort & peace. Please guard my friend Lecia who is having surgery tomorrow. Help the surgery to be successful and help her to have comfort & peace as well. Please give Gracie strength & courage as she goes to her swimming lessons this week. Help me to give her what she needs in order to feel secure. Please protect both of my girls spiritually, emotionally, mentally & physically. Help Chris & I to parent in such a way that will please You! Help me to use any adversity that I face to make me stronger for You. Thank you for Suzannne's courage & strength. She gives encouragement to so many with her positive attitude. Please heal her! Continue to be with Micheal as he is moving to rehab tomorrow. Please heal him and don't let him be paralyzed anymore. Please be with my friend Cindy who is struggling with a family situation. Comfort her.
In Jesus' Name,

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School is over! It was good and well liked by those who attended, so that's good. The other girl who helped coordinate it had written down the names of all the adults who had helped. I didn't count but it was alot! We're thankful to have had so much help and we're thankful to God that it went well. I'm exhausted and I know she is too. We have our Family Day picnic tomorrow from 10-1 where the children will receive certificates and have fun playing & having a cook-out. I sense a Saturday afternoon nap coming!

Chris had fun playing "Paul" tonight. We had different members play different Bible characters throughout the week...Ruth, Naomi & Boaz; David; Queen Esther & King Xerxes; and Peter, Andrew, James & John. It was great seeing some of the members have fun with their roles. One of the little 3 year old boys asked him, "Are you Gracie's Mommy?" Chris also did a great job leading the singing (along with another guy). He was quite silly at times but that's okay during VBS. Personally, I love having the kind of husband who is not afraid to be silly when it comes to participating in things like VBS, whether it be with singing or helping with games, whatever. He's also willing to step in and teach Gracie's 4 & 5 year old class at times if an unexpected sub is needed. He's just that kind of daddy and I'm thankful for him.

Here is Katie having the "Crown song" sung to her. (See post a couple before this one for the words. I love that song!)

Gracie said her favorite part of VBS was the crafts!


We ended the night with a trip to Waffle House. YUM!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Noah's Ark

Gracie doesn't nap everyday anymore, but she does usually have "rest time." This is what she created today during that time. Her own little 'Noah's Ark.' I thought it was quite cute!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

when life is through, I want to be with Jesus!

Gracie, I want to see you
up in Heaven when life is through
I want to be with Jesus
and Gracie I want you to be there too!
I wish I could put a recording on here so you could hear the above song being sung. It is so sweet and one we've been singing this week at Vacation Bible School. Chris is helping with the singing portion of VBS and he's trying to give every kid a chance to wear the crown and stand up front while the song is being sung to them.
Yes, VBS is here. I'm tired and it's only Tuesday. We still have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and a family day picnic on Saturday. It's fun though and the kids are enjoying themselves and that's what's important. Right?!!? We had optimistically planned for 50 children to attend, really thinking that 50 was overly optimistic. Last night, we had 47 and tonight we had 44! We are very pleased with the numbers, especially since many of them are visitors.
A curious thing about visitors...last night I was sitting at the registration table when a lady walked in and started signing up her grandchildren. I asked who she was with or who had told her about it. She said she'd just seen the sign while driving down the road. I was really surprised but happy that she'd decided to bring them. She signed them up~all 5 of them~and left. I thought that was kind of interesting that she'd just drop them off without really knowing any of us there. 2 men came to pick them up which made me a little nervous because how did we even know who these men were?!?! Tonight when she came, she just pulled up in front of the building and the doors to the minivan opened and they started piling out. She wasn't even going to come inside. My friend and I walked out there to ask who was going to pick them up because we'd been a little puzzled the night before since she hadn't mentioned that she wouldn't be the one coming back.
I think it's great that the kids are there and I hope their hearts will be touched by something that happens this week. Most of the other visitors are "connected" in some way to someone at the church so I don't find it as odd that those children might be dropped off; I just found it odd that someone who didn't seem to know any of us at all would just drop off her grandchildren and leave. Maybe others have had this happen and it's not that big of a deal. I guess I'm just not used to it with our smaller congregation. (Come to find out, one family did think they knew the lady but they hadn't invited her.)
One of the little boys who was visiting was something of a behavior problem last night although he was better tonight. Some of us were talking about them just being dropped off and about his behavior and I tried to remind myself and those around me how Jesus did say to let the little children come and they probably need to be here the most. It's not that anyone was thinking or saying that they shouldn't be there. I don't know. It's hard to explain. I'm not sure what I mean to say. Chris and I were talking about it later too. Jesus wants all of the little children to come to Him, not just the ones who know how to be respectful or the ones who dress like our kids or have parents who come to church all the time. I guess it's just made me think. We talk about wanting to impact the community for Christ. This is a great opportunity and I will pray that we don't mess it up!!!!!!!!!
I got a prize today! I recently won a contest on BST's blog. You can see where I won the contest here & here. Brandon had told me a couple of weeks that his friend Stuart from Waterbrook Press was sending me my prize and I've been anxiously awaiting it. The doorbell rang late this afternoon and it was the UPS guy. My prize was here! Let me tell you, this is a fantastic prize! Next time BST has a contest, try to win. You won't be disappointed! Here is a list of all I received:
"Grace in Thine Eyes" by Liz Curtis Higgs
"Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver
"Bad Girls of the Bible" by Liz Curtis Higgs
"The Three Hardest Words in the World to Get Right" by Leonard Sweet~hardback!
children's books~all hardback
"Hello, Sun! A Morningtime Tale of God's Great Care" by Sheila Walsh
"Hello, Stars! A Sleepytime Tale of God's Loving Presence" by Sheila Walsh
"God Gave Us You" by Lisa Tawn Bergren
"Go Away, Dark Night" by Liz Curtis Higgs
"Don't Tell That to Beasley" by Tara McClary Reeves & Christa McClary McElveen
"The Long Shortcut" by the De Villiers Family
"Purple Spot Sickness" by the De Villiers Family

Thank you Brandon, Stuart & Waterbrook Press!


Micheal is not doing too well. He was going to be transferred to rehab but some complications have come up. His therapist told him that he will NEVER walk again and that he is a Level 5 quadriplegic. Jenny isn't taking that news well and she & Micheal are prepared to keep fighting to prove the doctors wrong. After all, she was told she'd never walk again and she is living proof that doctors can be wrong because she is walking today! Praise God! Please keep them in your prayers as they work through financial problems and this depressing prognosis. Micheal has been talking to my uncle about spiritual matters so that is certainly a blessing.


Dear Lord,

Please help our VBS to be pleasing to You. Help everyone to learn more about You & Your son & Your word throughout this week. Help all of us to reach out to those who need You! Please help me not to stress!!!!!! You know I worry about any & everything. Please help me to trust in You. Thank you for all of my blessings! Help me to do things that please You and help guide me when I'm not sure what the right thing is. Please heal Micheal and help them all to trust in You!

In Jesus' Name,


I apologize if this post looks like a big run-on paragraph. For some reason, Blogger doesn't want to acknowledge my returns!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

fits in Bible Class

Wednesday night Katie pitched the biggest fit when I took her to Bible Class. Seriously, it was bad. She sat down on the floor and was just screaming! I told her teacher, Miss Jane, that I thought she would be fine once she got settled because usually she is. I was teaching across the hall and Chris ended up getting "drafted" to teach another class at the last minute. I felt bad because the 2 teachers in Katie's class seemed uncomfortable with the way she was acting so I took her into class with me where I was teaching the babies. She got mad at me because I wouldn't let her play with the baby toys. Another teacher who helps in Katie's class came to check on what was going on and offered to take her. She was reaching for me and saying, "No Mommy, no! No Mommy, no!" as Miss Suzie carried her out. I wanted to cry! However, I really wanted her to take Katie because I know me "rescuing" her isn't going to really teach her what she needs to learn right now and that's that Bible Class is a safe place for her to be. I've witnessed parents who never leave their child and are still having to stay with them in class when they're quite old and I've witnessed parents who leave them crying and eventually they learn that Bible Class is an okay place to be. Katie hasn't always been like this so I guess it's just a phase. Gracie has never acted like this towards any kind of class!!!!!

In a way, it makes me feel better about Mother's Day Out. She had acted exactly like that the last time I tried to take her to MDO in May. I thought maybe someone there had upset her and had/have seriously thought about changing MDO places (still might.) Now that I've seen her act this way with Miss Jane, Miss Sue & Miss Suzie (all 3 of whom are grandmothers whom I completely trust!) I know that maybe it's just something Katie is going through and not really indicative of anything bad someone at MDO did.
Thursday night I had my first PTA board meeting for this next school year. We needed to plan some dates and things like that. The President, Lecia, was secretary last year so she kind of walked me through how to take the minutes and all that kind of stuff. The meeting lasted about 3 hours and I would sometimes find my thoughts drifting off, especially during the budget part. I don't understand 3/4 of that part! Something would bring me back and I'd wonder frantically what I had missed that I was supposed to write down! I suppose that's why one of the first things they do at the meetings is approve the minutes of the previous meeting. If I missed something I'm sure someone will catch it!

I was happy to meet a lady whose son will be in 1st grade next year. She was very outgoing and introduced herself to me almost as soon as I walked in. I assumed she was just someone I hadn't met yet but who was already associated with the school. Her son went to private Kindergarten last year but will be coming to our school this year. One of her friends is very active in PTA and had "drafted" her into being in charge of birthday cupcakes this year so she showed up to the meeting. I think it's so great that she is already jumping into being involved this way. She seemed really nice and I hope to get to know her better.

I was hoping to find out who Gracie's teacher will be but I didn't. The teacher that I think I want her to have is one of the PTA teacher reps who was at the meeting. She was telling me how they all loved to see Gracie in her bows. The other teacher rep is one of the 2nd grade teachers whose class Gracie read to a couple of times last year and she was agreed that she loved her. The lady who helped organize the student pictures said when she saw her she said, "Matilda!" Of course my face was beaming as they spoke so highly of my child! The teacher that I think I want said, "Yeah, I said I wouldn't get her because I get all the boys!" I almost said something about hoping Gracie does get her but I didn't feel comfortable enough yet to be so bold. I'm also trying to trust God to choose the teacher who is best for her. He did a fantastic job last year, so why should I expect anything less this year, right?!?!
We ate with some friends last night who we haven't seen in quite awhile so that was nice. Chris & I watched "Big Momma's House 2." Funny.
Yesterday Gracie displayed an uncharacteristic show of attitude! She does this from time to time but for some reason yesterday's attitude seemed worse than usual. We've spent the large majority of our days up at the church building working on VBS~Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. She's had fun those days. She's always had friends there to play with whose moms are also working on VBS. They've had a blast doing all the things they're not usually allowed to do in the church know, running in the foyer, playing hide 'n seek in the bathrooms, playing on the cushions on the floor, etc. She'd been fine yesterday but for some reason when they started cleaning up, she had some kind of little "run in" with Daddy.

Apparently he told her to start cleaning instead of something else she was doing. The other thing she was doing wasn't something bad other than the fact that it wasn't cleaning up. Instead of complying with his wishes to clean, she felt the need to "explain." She's been doing that alot lately. "But Daddy, I was just........." "But Mommy, I wasn't................" When we correct her on her attitude and ask her to say, "Yes Maam" or "Yes Sir," she'll say it but it's the tone with which it's said. Such attitude!

I wish I could somehow tape the other little sound she makes when she's mad. It kind of sounds like a groan and usually involves something like brows furrowing and shoulders slumping. Anyway........she displayed this attitude more than once during the clean-up phase of the afternoon so she got "disciplined" in a corporal kind of way. (I think that's how you would describe spanking! LOL) She also got some "take aways." I told her she couldn't watch videos, play her computer games or draw for the rest of yesterday or today. The girl loves to draw so I was kind of proud of myself for thinking to take that away. Today at the store, Chris was getting onto her & Katie for touching a bunch of stuff and she did it again! "But Daddy, I was just......." So I told her she couldn't read for the rest of the day! My mom used to punish me that way and it would really hit home! Sure enough, as we walked to the van she was upset about it. As soon as she got buckled in she picked up her Magic Tree House book and started reading......just out of habit. Chris pointed out to her what she was doing so she put it down. It had really hit home at that point and she started crying.

She is such a sweet girl! I hope this attitude doesn't last long!!!!!! Seeing as how she's a dramatic little girl, I guess I'm probably dreaming, but I pray that God will help us to parent in such a way as to cut down on it anyway!
Today Chris worked on the yard and did a little VBS preparation from home. After that we headed over to a local park that was hosting the Vietnam War Memorial traveling wall. I tried to explain to Gracie what it was but I'm sure the whole significance went right over her head. I've seen the "real" wall in D.C. but Chris never has so he was very interested in seeing it. Even though I wasn't directly affected by all of the death in the Vietnam War, it is still moving & touching to see all the names and see all of the little notes & pictures people left at the wall.
We headed to a nearby bigger town to look for a bicycle for Gracie's birthday. We ended up looking at 6 different places, some of them the same store just in different towns and ended up gettting one at Wal Mart! We got it at a different one than we usually go to though. There was a really pretty Strawberry Shortcake one that she really liked at Toys R Us, but there were a few things I didn't like. For one, it was way more expensive than some we'd seen. Two, I wanted this to last awhile and I was afraid she'd outgrow the SS theme. The one we got is "generic" I guess you'd say. It's not Barbie or Princess or anything like that. We got a great deal on it.

We were originally looking at the 16" size for her but decided we'd really like to get the 18" size so it'd last longer. It was already a pretty good price but the "floor model" that she was trying out was kind of "floor model looking." You know, the wheels looked they had been ridden alot and it just looked a little more "used" than what I liked to pay full price for. Chris went to find someone to ask if we could have another one that was a display that was higher up that didn't look like it'd been tried out alot. The guy came and looked at the one we had down and said, "I can give you this one for 35% off if you want to do that." Well, I'm a bargain lover through & through so I jumped at that! The bike is fine; I just didn't like the thought of paying the full "new' price for one that looked like a hundred kids had already ridden on it. (It doesn't have the tassels either for some reason. Maybe someone even returned it at some point???) Anyway, we got it and I'm pretty excited. Of course, it has training wheels at this point but she did really well on it the little bit she got to ride it up the Wal Mart aisle! We picked out a Barbie helmet but it's not glaringly Barbie, so I like that.

Gracie said she would try to forget about the bike since we told her she couldn't have it until her birthday which isn't until the 28th! funny!
We ended up buying some groceries while at Wal Mart and tried to think of easy things to fix for dinner this week since we'll be at VBS every night from before 6 until after 8:30. I don't want to be unprepared and end up eating out every night.

When we got home, Chris started filling up the pool and let the girls play for a little bit. This is the first time we've used our pool this summer. Hopefully they'll still get quite a bit of good use out of it. We ate a simple dinner since we'd had Dairy Queen around 3:00. Yum!
I worked on balancing the checkbook. Yuck!
Dear Lord,
Thank you for this day with family. Please help Chris & I to parent the way You want us to. Please be with Katie tomorrow and all this week as she goes to Bible Class. Help her to feel comfortable and not to throw a fit. Help Chris & I handle her in an appropriate way that teaches her the right way to behave. Please be with VBS. Help it to be what You want it to be. Please be with Gracie as she starts school soon. Help her to have a wonderful year filled with learning and Godly maturity. Please choose the teacher that You want her to have. Please protect both of my babies spiritually, mentally, emotionally & physically. Help me to trust in You! Help me to be a good example to all I come into contact with. Help me to serve others as You want me to. Please be with Micheal and heal his body and bring him close to You. Be with Jenny as she tries to be a support to him. Thank you for your son! Thank you for baby Ella Kate's safe arrival. Please be with Kate & Holly as their new babies will be here soon. Help them to have safe deliveries & healthy babies!
In Jesus' Name,