Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"School" for Katie

Katie Boo started "school" today and she was so excited! Of course, school is really just a 1 day a week Mother's Day Out program for a few hours. When I dropped her off, there were only 2 other children there and they are 2 of her best friends from church and the 2 teachers, one of which is the mommy of 1 of her best friends. When I said something about taking pictures, she informed me that we had to take some with her backpack off and some with it on. I guess she's been watching us take pictures of Gracie on her first day of school! She just had to have a "Little Einstein's" lunchbox. Even though I tried to convince her it was "boyish," she really wanted it!
When I picked her up, she seemed to have had a great time and is currently in bed for a much needed nap. Gracie is starting to work on her homework. I was able to go to her school today to help out for this first time this year. I am loving her teacher! The things that Gracie has talked about them doing have really made me happy-lots of writing activities with room for creativity which I love! She reminds me somewhat of Miss Stack-just older and a little calmer. LOL Mrs. Z had me bind together some of their writings while I was there to make a class book and she told me she likes to make books. I love that!!!!! I made books all the time when I was teaching.

She also told me that she really doesn't like worksheets and that I'll find that she really doesn't do a lot of the workbook pages because she'll have other ways of teaching it. Awesome! I think there's a time & a place for worksheets but I love that she uses so many other ways of teaching also. She sent home a "spelling contract" last night. They have to have 20 points by Friday in order to get 100% for a spelling homework grade for the week. She had all sorts of activites listed that they could choose to do. Some activities, like putting the words in ABC order, are worth 5 points. Others are worth are 10 and some, like cutting a picture out of a magazine and writing a story about it using her spelling words, are worth 15. Last night, Gracie chose to do one of the 15 point activities. She chose to look through magazines and find 10 (of her 22) spelling words and cut them out to make a collage. I think that is such a neat activity and I love that she allows them to choose which one to do. Since Gracie did a 15 point activity last night, she technically only has to do 1 more 5 point activity for spelling homework for the week.

I worked with 2 students today. These are students who are pretty low academically speaking, but they've already worked their way into my heart a little. The little girl has a sad life story but was so sweet and said "yes ma'am" so politely. The little boy was active to say the least but really sweet with a little bit of "exposure to older brothers or cousins" in him. (For example: we were talking about the sound of the letter "W" and he laughed and said, "like WHASSUP?!?!" HA! Hey, if it helps him remember it, that's fine with me!) Out of the blue he asked me if I went to church. I didn't think I'd said anything about it so I was a little caught off guard. I guess he saw my cross necklace. I confirmed that yes, I did and asked if he did. He said "his momma don't take them no more." I told him to talk to Gracie about it and he could come with her. Logistically & practically speaking, I wasn't sure what else to say, but I uttered a silent prayer that God would bless him. It was really kind of chilling to think that he asked me that, like God was saying, "Here's an open door." I pray that God will show me how to go through that door. Really neat.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bible Class portfolio

Today was "Promotion Sunday" at church with the new quarter starting next Sunday. Right before services, each child got a certificate for the class they've been in this year and a few were promoted to the next class. In my 1st & 2nd grade class, we had a little "party" or "Open House" you might call it. We invited the Wednesday night teacher along with the parents of each of my 3 students-me being one of the parents!
When the parents came in, they were asked if they'd like something to drink-orange juice. The students gave the parents a little quiz using the "Bible Mania-Veggies Tales" book. It was cute because some of the questions the parents didn't have an answer for! After that, the girls recited 2 of their long term memory work projects-the 12 Sons of Jacob & the books of the Old Testament. They then served their parents muffins & grapes. They then fixed their own plates, then went to 2 of the other classes to share some of the muffins then came back and sat with their parents while they looked through their "portfolio." This consisted of some of the work I held onto throughout the year along with a list of the stories we did all year. I also had many pictures I'd taken and I typed up the class prayer journal for each girl to have a copy. It was fun looking back at the things the girls had prayed for all year.
So closes yet another chapter in Gracie's life-her 1st grade Bible Class. *sigh* Life is moving too quickly. This week, Katie & I will be spending time in the classroom decorating for the new quarter. I love doing this! Gracie helped me choose some things a couple of weeks ago. We went with an "ocean theme" and I'm excited to put it all up and have a fresh look to the classroom. I have "lost" 1 student to promotion but am "gaining" 2 new ones as well. The 2 new ones are boys so now we should have 2 2nd grade girls & 2 1st grade boys. Should make for a whole new dynamic!
Here is a picture of my sweet Katie Boo. She looked so cute with her pigtails!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back to school........

Back to School with the Lord's Prayer
by Charme Robarts
(taken from Heartlight.com)

Our Father in heaven...
Remember God is your child’s father too, so worry less.

Great is your name in all the earth...
This is a statement that recognizes God’s powerful presence in everyplace. God is at school, too. Teach your children this so they will feel safer, and so they will remember Him throughout their day.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven...
Pray that God’s kingdom rule comes more fully into your child’s world, and to yours. Pray for the people your child knows who are outside the kingdom. God is at school, too.

Give us today our daily bread...
Asking God for daily food reminds us of our dependence on him for everything — we obtain nothing by ourselves. God is providing daily for you and for your child. Teach your little one this so that they learn to trust him.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us...
Just like the chalkboard at school can be wiped clean, so God is willing to wipe our sins away. No doubt someone will hurt your child’s feelings, someone will sin against him or her. What will you teach your child about dealing with this offense?

Lead us not to temptation, but deliver us from evil...
This is poetic way of submitting our will to God; we want to go his way, but we know we have an enemy who wants keep us from that way. God is our hero and can deliver us. Children are well acquainted with the language of heroes and enemies (think Star Wars), so speak to them in these terms about God.

For yours is the kingdom, the power, and glory, forever...
What news could be better for moms sending their children out away from the nest of home? God is reigning over every place — even school!
We had a wonderful "back to school" prayer service last night at church. The names of every child in the church who is attending school this year-and some who have recently graduated from college-were mentioned in prayer. Deep prayers full of petition to God for their protection along with other requests. I really feel that having prayer nights like this are important and something we don't do enough (speaking of myself & my church family.) Yes, I pray. We pray at church. Honestly though, sometimes it gets "routine." God asks us to come to Him and I believe He loves it when we do.
Dear God,

Please bless all of the teachers. The public school teachers. The private school teachers. The homeschool teachers. I ask a special blessing on Mrs. Zimmerman. Please give these teachers the knowledge they need and the wisdom they need. Please bless all of the administrators & office workers. Times are stressful in a school office all the time and the first of the year is even more so. Please give them knowledge & wisdom as well. Please help them to treat each parent & student as special and in return help all of the parents & students to be appreciative and thankful for all they do.

Please sharpen the minds of those students who struggle to learn. Right now I'm thinking of "B" from Gracie's class who Mrs. Zimmerman asked me to work with starting next week- a 2nd grader who doesn't have a good grasp of the alphabet. Please help me to be a help to him and to be a light in his day. Please enrich the minds of those students who learn more easily. Give them lots of opportunities to think critically, problem solve & develop their interests. Help them to truly love learning and to use that for good things.

God, I pray for a special blessing for Grant, Garrett, J-Belle, Mary Alice, Aggie-Ed, Tanner, Ty, Mason, Kaylee, Aidan, Lilly, Erika, Kayla, Julia, Rachel, Zoe, Kendyll, Matthew, Thomas, Kolby, Rhett, Hunter, Summer, Maddie, Colt, Makenna, Paige, Laura, Leigh Ann, Gracie & Avery. These are the children of some of my "blogging" buddies as well as "real life" friends, along with my own baby girl. I pray that these children learn the academic things they need to know all the while realizing that You are the most important to learn about. I pray that you will protect each of these children as they are at school whether it be public, private or home. Please protect them physically-I ask that no physical harm come to them. Please protect them spiritually-I ask that the devil not tempt them beyond what their faith can handle. I pray that they have a foundation built on Christ that will help them with this. Please protect them emotionally-the world can be a cruel place; kids & adults can be mean. I pray that they find their true worth in Christ and nowhere else. Please protect them mentally-I ask that nothing happen to them that will cause them deep distress. If something does happen, I pray that You reveal a solution to them to how they can feel better.

God, please help our children to be a light to all those we meet. I know that You are everywhere-even places that some say you can't be. I pray that Chris & I will show our faith to others and will teach Gracie & Katie to do the same thing so that You can be seen in our lives.

In Jesus' Name,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Katie's first trip to the dentist

Sometimes I fear that I write more about Gracie than I do Katie. I guess it's because she does all of the "new" things first.......school, soccer etc. Well, today was a "first" for Katie Boo~her first trip to the dentist as a patient.

She did really well although they didn't get to do everything they wanted to. She was so cute though and talked a lot. When I first put her in the chair she started kicking her legs and fussing and said, "I'm thirsty!" The hygienist got her a little cup of water. She started drinking it and the hygienist started talking to her. Before too long Katie shifted to put both her legs in the chair and she was pretty okay. She told the lady she looked funny because of her face mask. She got to wear sunglasses because of how bright "Mr. Sunshine" (the big light) was and she liked "Mr. Thirsty" (the suction) pretty well for a little bit. She wasn't too sure of the polishing. She really was so cute while there and I was proud of her! Here are quite a few pictures I took to remember the occasion.

Monday, August 20, 2007

2nd grader!

My baby is now officially a 2nd grader! She was beside herself with excitement-and has been for a few days now. Last night she just kept giggling about it!

Chris got up first to get in the shower then I got up to start fixing breakfast. I wanted to send her off with a good one, so I scrambled some eggs, made some toast & got out a banana. Before I even got started good, Gracie came in the kitchen. She started smiling with a smile that said "something exciting is happening today!"
The girls ate breakfast then I hopped in the shower while Gracie got dressed & ready to go. We decided to walk since we live so close and we knew finding a parking place would be next to impossible. Doing carline on the first day of school isn't for me-I like to walk her in for a few days. Even on a regular day it's hard to find a parking place, but right now it's even crazier because there is a large construction project going on at the school so there are construction trucks + all the workers, etc. I'm not sure how safe it's going to be to walk with both the girls by myself (Chris was with me today) because of the traffic and the way people don't necessarily look out for us walkers.
We started out and made it through all the mess and got to her classroom. There were probably only 4 students in there when we dropped her off. I only teared up once when we were walking and she was saying the prayer for us (with her eyes open of course!) Other than that I was fine and she certainly was. She was just so happy to be there that it made it much easier. Don't get me wrong, I missed her but I know she was happy!
Chris, Katie & I met a friend for breakfast then Chris headed off to work. Katie & I went to Target then went to the church building to work in my classroom a little bit. We're having a "party" Sunday morning to celebrate the end of this year & the promotion of one of my students to the next class (although I'm going to miss her a lot so it's not really a celebration for me!) I'm going to have a small "portfolio" of work for the parents to look through, etc. Next week, I'll work on decorating the room for a new year + a couple of new students.
While there, Katie fell & busted her top & bottom lips! Of course, it's the first day of school. Remember what happened last year?!?! She had blood all over her hands & mouth. We got it cleaned up pretty well but I know it hurt.This is before the busted lip. You can tell she had been crying in this picture too. I had told her to stay inside while I took pictures of Gracie because I didn't want her to fall down the steps-like last year! She waited until we got to the church building to fall! UGH!
We picked up Gracie and I have been listening to her talk about her new class. Mrs. Zimmerman has a sports theme this year. Her discipline thing is "strikes," they have teams-Gracie is on the 'Mets' and she gets to be a team leader which means she passes out papers, etc. They have "batting order" for having a turn on the computer to take A.R. tests, etc. The computer teacher took their picture today and Gracie said Mrs. Zimmerman has an "All Stars" area where when they do something special, she may put their picture up there on a newspaper article or a cereal box. Sounds neat to me!
Her homework for tonight is to bring an object from home of a special memory of something she's done with her family. She has talked about a little girl named Kathleen, or "Katie" quite a bit. I think she had a good day!
Dear Lord,
Thank you for letting Gracie have a good 1st day of 2nd grade! Please continue to watch over her & keep her safe and help her to learn the things she needs to learn. Help our whole family to be a light to all those we meet.
In Jesus' Name,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Is today a school day?

We've had many bloggable moments lately. Chris was teasing me because he knew things were coming up that I wanted to blog about. Don't let him fool you-I catch him checking my blog many times!

Gracie woke up on Thursday and wanted to know if it was a school day. I told her no, not yet, that Mrs. Zimmerman had to get things ready. She said, "Well, I could help her." So sweet. I think she may very well be on the path to being a teacher herself one day. Monday will be here soon enough. We're all pretty excited around here about that.

The table in these pictures used to be in Gracie's room but we moved it into the "play area" the other day. The girls have enjoyed playing on it back there. (It's just behind our couch in the den.) Even though we've had this table for about 2 years, it's almost like it's a new table because it's in a new place.

Last night, we all got comfy on the couch with our popcorn and watched "High School Musical 2." I thought it was cute although I did like the first one better, but isn't that usually how it goes?!?! I waited until about 9:00 to start watching it so we could fast forward through the commercials. I love having DVR.

This morning we had a birthday party to go to at the local gymnastics place. Lots of fun as always!
After the birthday party, we went to an art reception at the local art gallery. Lots of art projects were on display from the many kids who took art classes and/or camps this summer. It was really neat to see. They also had lots of fun things happening like face painting, bands playing, refreshments, crafts to make etc. We are very proud of how Gracie did at her art camp. She said that next year she would like to go full day.
This is her art camp teacher, Gretchen. The project she is holding is one where they used all sorts of different mediums to create their picture. Gretchen sketched the giraffe then Gracie used mediums such as acrylic paint, colored pencils, crayons, watercolors, oil pastels & markers to finish the picture.
This one is hard to see, but it was an underwater scene using an air dried clay. (I think!)
To the left of Gracie, you can see (if you click to make the picture bigger) she drew a butterfly. She then created a butterfly, ladybug & snake out of clay which was then baked.
Here is Gracie standing next to the bulletin board displaying many pictures of the different camps held throughout the summer. We found a picture of Gracie and had to take her picture next to her picture! What good blogger wouldn't do that?!?!
After the art reception where we got to bring home her projects, we drove out for an afternoon of roller skating with friends from church. We did this last year also. I didn't actually skate but had fun watching the others and talking. We then ate together and came home to finally relax after such a long day. I've bathed the girls and washed their hair so they're ready for bed early tonight! Chris went to the gym and then went to Wal Mart to pick up some more batteries for the camera.....and milk.....and bread.....and bananas.....and diet coke.....and whatever else he thinks to pick up while there.
Here is the birthday card Gracie drew for her friend's present today. I loved the cake she drew! Why? Because to me, it shows that she's been watching a lot of "Ace of Cakes" & "Food Network Challenge" shows. It's a much more inventive cake than she used to draw!
I just began Book 5 of Karen Kingsbury's "Redemption" series. I sure am glad people recommended it. I've really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the "spin-off" series as well.
Baby Caroline hasn't been doing well. She is actually doing great except that her chest tubes won't stop draining. Her parents have asked for a specific prayer: that the Lord will stop this drainage and heal her leaky lymphatic vessels so she won't have to endure another surgery. The surgeon has said that he will open her back up Wednesday if the drainage hasn't decreased. Poor thing has already been in the hospital-the PICU no less-over 3 weeks (or is it 4?!?!) Please say a prayer for the drainage to decrease. It is the ONLY thing keeping her in the hospital. Her heart is doing great after the OHS. The drainage just won't stop.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mrs. Zimmerman

Gracie met her new 2nd grade teacher today~Mrs. Zimmerman!

Here are 2 things Gracie had to say about her:

*She's nice.

*I love her already!

I'm glad she's so easy to please! I will admit that I was really nervous this morning because today was the day to find out who she had. Even when we arrived at registration & found out who her teacher was going to be, I really didn't know enough about any of them to feel a great sense of relief or a great sense of doom. The one I had really hoped for had moved to 1st grade and I'd found that out earlier in the summer so I had been praying that God would choose the one he wanted her to have.

She has 5 children from 6th grade up to some in their 20's. She seemed to really have a motherly side to her which is something I really liked about Mrs. Stauffer last year. I like that she will be able to see the "mother's side" as well as the "teacher's side." When I taught I didn't have any children and I can say that I would do a lot of things differently now if I was teaching. That's not to say that people without children can't be good teachers......it's just different.

Mrs. Zimmerman was trying to get some things cleaned out so she had a table full of books-including old textbooks and told Gracie-and Katie-that they could choose 5 books to take home. What a great way to get rid of things because Gracie & Katie thought that was pretty cool.

I look forward to starting this 2nd grade year. This is kind of a nostalgic year for me because this is what I taught. I am very interested to see what all Gracie learns & how it is taught. I look forward to going in to help with the class and seeing what kind of relationship she & Mrs. Zimmerman will have. I look forward to seeing what new friends she will make. I am excited for this school year to begin and I know Gracie is too.

Dear Lord,

Please bless this school year for Gracie and all of the other students. Please bless Mrs. Zimmerman and help to be the kind of teacher You want her to be. Please help me to be an encouragement to both Gracie & her teacher and to be the right kind of support for both of them. Please help our family to be a light to all of those we meet. Please bless Miss Stack (Mrs. Powell now that she's married) & Mrs. Stauffer as they begin a new school year.

In Jesus' Name,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The advertising is getting to me!!!!!

Here's a sweet picture of Gracie in the birthday dress she got from Uncle Josh, Aunt Beth, Ann Elise & Morgan along with a matching one for her "American Girl" doll. Too cute!
American Girl is in quotes because it's actually a "Target" doll that looks just like the AG ones (except the AG hair is much nicer) and it cost about $70 LESS! (Seriously, $30 compared to $100!) I have to admit that I'm feeling the itch to get her a real AG doll for Christmas. This is so not like me because I am quite "frugal." Someone talk me out of it and tell me that the Target ones (she has 2!) are just as good!!!!! Deep in my heart I know it but the catalog gets to me and Gracie's started reading the books........help!!!!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

13 happy years

Today marks 13 years that I've been married to a wonderful man named Christopher Howard Shanks. I am blessed to share my life with this incredibly selfless man. Selfish is not in his vocabulary as is evidenced by the way he puts me & the girls before himself all the time. God is before us all which is how it should be.
He is a fantastic Daddy! I love that he spends time with the girls because he wants to, not because he should. He is not too proud to get down on the floor & play horse with Gracie or "eat" something Katie cooks in her kitchen. He truly enjoys being with them and it shows. I feel confident that this will make a difference in the relationship choices they will make throughout their lives.
Chris works hard to provide for our family and to allow me to stay home with the girls, which is what we both want. When not working, he makes spending time with us a priority while throwing in the occasional game of golf, work out at the gym or movie night with the guys too of course!
He treats me as if I'm very special. He tells me I'm beautiful, that I'm a good mom, that I'm a good cook....all of those sorts of sweet things that wives like to hear from their husbands. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him!

Chris, I'm glad I met you way out there in Abilene, TX back in 1992. God utilized ACU to bring us together and I'm thankful for that. I love you!!!!!!!I know this is weird that I took a picture of a picture, but it's one of my favorite pictures of us and I was too lazy to scan it. If you look close, you'll notice that I have yellow fingernails. Any girl from ACU who knows "why fire engines are red" knows why those nails are yellow!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

week with friends

Although I needed to get it off my chest, I don't like having the post about Katie's frustrating behavior as the first thing I see when I go to my blog, so I'm going to write a new one.

This has been a good week. School starts a week from Monday, so I find myself wanting to savor these last few days of "summer." Of course, when the temperatures hover around 106 degrees, we've been doing most of our savoring inside!

Monday, we went to Gracie's 7 year check up and talked a little more about the digestive problems the girls have had this last month. He has referred them to a Pediatric G.I. guy. They are doing better so I'm not sure if I'm taking them to the appointment, but I feel pretty sure that if I don't, they'll start having problems again. Murphy's Law, right?!!? We'll see.

After the appointment, we went to "Diwwon's" house (a.k.a. Dillon) to play with him & his sister and some other children and eat lunch together which was fun. His mommy ran a quick errand but most of the time I got to visit with her and with Holly too, so that was nice. Although we still have to referee the occasional squabble, for the most part the kids all play together well and it's nice to watch them enjoying being together.

That night, I went out on the "take Holly's mind off her surgery" girl's night.

Tuesday, Melissa came over with her kids for a little bit to play & eat lunch. I ended up running an errand for her while she watched the kids. Her neck was really hurting, so we decided it'd be easier for me to drive & run into the post office for her. Hey, she was home with 5 kids. I'm not sure who had the easier job! LOL

That night, we met yet a different friend for dinner~Mary Beth & her family. Gracie & Hunter just picked up right where they left off after not having seen each other much this summer. Brett & Chris went to the gym to work out while MB & I watched t.v. and the kids played. Their car ended up dying and spending the night in our driveway. As bad as that was, at least we got to spend more time together while the men tried to figure everything out!

Wednesday, we stayed home all day until church that night.

Thursday, we went to playgroup. Afterwards, we went to the local teacher store where I chose some new things to use in my Sunday School classroom starting this September. The rest of the afternoon was pretty much spent resting. It's so hot out that even just running errands takes it out of ya! We went out for ice cream after dinner then just hung out.

Friday, Kristi & I went to visit baby Caroline. Poor thing. She was not feeling well at all while we were there. On the way home, we stopped to see Holly who had her surgery that morning. She was doing great!

That evening, we went to Mark & Cindy's house for dinner after which our 2 girls & their 2 girls played & played. We left Gracie there for a sleepover with LA which of course was the highlight of her day!

Today, we piddled around and cleaned house and cooked. Shawn & Melissa came over tonight for dinner. We cooked a brisket and potato salad and baked beans. She brought corn on the cob & Texas Toast. It was good! We sure do miss good 'ole brisket like they cook it at Joe Allen's in Abilene, TX but ours was pretty good!

The kids all had fun playing together. The husbands went out for a little bit to do something and she & I enjoyed watching a couple of episodes of "Ace of Cakes." She makes lots of birthday cakes for her own children as well as friends, so I think she likes seeing how they do all of those neat things. I just think it's such a fun show!

So, it's been a good week with lots of time spent with friends. That's always good. This week we get to meet Gracie's 2nd grade teacher!!!!!! I have spent time praying for whoever this person will be. I am anxious & excited to see who she will be.....or he! I had a dream it was a man, although I don't think it will be. I have had more than 1 dream about this lately. It's how my mind works. Whatever is on my mind a lot during the day, I sometimes will dream about. Back when the girls were in the midst of their tummy problems, I had a very interesting dream about Gracie. I won't relay it here but trust me, it was strange!

The girls are now in bed-together. They're having a "sleepover." Gracie didn't really want to but I wasn't in the mood to change her sheets after Katie spilled milk on her bed. Why she thought she could climb onto Gracie's bed with a cup of milk-not a cup with a lid I might add-is beyond me. Of course, when I asked her why she did that, she had a perfectly reasonable answer. "I was firsty!"

Friday, August 10, 2007

this too shall pass, right?!?!

Katie is driving me bananas! I love her dearly. Believe me, I do. She is just so strong willed and so different from Gracie, it's unbelievable!

*The other day, she got in trouble and Chris took care of it. She was in time out and Gracie came and told Chris, "Katie says you're being mean." She's 3 for goodness sake!

*The girls were taking a bath and I kept hearing this loud banging like they were throwing the baby doll around. I called out for them to stop. A few minutes later I hear Gracie say, "Mommy said no!" In other words, Katie was still wanting to do it regardless of what I had said.

*Katie was playing with this huge pencil that Chris had brought Gracie from his trip to San Antonio. I guess she said something about it being a g-u-n. I only halfway heard it and probably would have just said something to her about how we don't play like that. Gracie said, "Mommy! Katie said g-u-n." Again, I probably would have just said something to her about not talking about that. Before I can say anything, she says, "GRACIE! Don't tell Mom!" Again, SHE IS THREE!!!!!!!!

*I was in the den and thought I kept hearing the screen door open. After a couple of times I went in the other room and asked Katie if she had opened the door-something she knows she's not supposed to do. She shook her head no over & over. I went out to ask Chris about it. He was outside watering the plants. He said that yes, she had opened it-he had seen her.

*We went to playgroup today where she hit at her friends when they upset her, pushed on her friend to keep her from doing something and then lied to me about it.

*Tonight, we went to get ice cream. She got a cone which proceeded to drip everywhere so Chris put it in a cup and gave her a spoon. She didn't like that but finally calmed down but she kept moving around. I finally said, "Sit there!" She wanted to move to the picnic table. I said, "Sit." She shook her head no. I said, "yes." She shook her head no. THREE times she shook her head no after I told her what I wanted her to do so I took her ice cream to the trash can and dumped it! Of course, she really didn't like that and wouldn't calm down so I took her to the van to sit. I finished mine in the van with her while Chris & Gracie finished theirs out under the tree. She had no more ice cream.

Because of her hitting & lying at playgroup, we had told her she couldn't play the "Leapster" anymore that day or the next day. This morning when I got up she was sitting very solemnly on the couch in the living room in her Spiderman shorts & Dallas Cowboy t-shirt (a bit of a tomboy at times!) I asked her what was wrong and she just stared at me. I asked her if she was in trouble (Chris had gotten up earlier.) She nodded yes and said that she had played the Leapster. Of course, she said it was an "assident." *sigh*

I don't want to pray for patience because the rumor is that you'll get something to test your patience if you pray for it. *oops* I think maybe I already did pray for it, you think?!!?!?


Please help Chris & I to be the kind of parents who can teach both of our girls the right way to act. Help them to grow up to be loving, respectful, responsible, well behaved young ladies who love You. Help us not to get too frustrated.

In Jesus' Name,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

just the girls

*pictures added 8/8/07*

I had a good time last night. There was a PTA Board meeting and boy, was it fun! HA! Actually, I skipped out on the meeting to do something much more relaxing & fun. I feel a little guilty but I didn't miss one meeting all last year and I really wanted to do this other thing last night. At our last meeting, I had something else going on that I wanted to be at too, but I felt bad just saying I wouldn't be there so I ended up going but just leaving as soon as it was over and getting to my other thing late. It was a small enough event people wise that it worked to do that. This time, it was a larger group, so I just decided to just say outright that I couldn't be at the meeting. Almost everyone else has missed at least 1 meeting, so I don't feel too bad. So, I delivered the minutes of our last meeting earlier in the day to the principal and someone else got to act as secretary and take last night's minutes. I went to do the fun thing!

My friend Holly is having surgery Friday. I wrote about her back in April. She is a young Christian mother who we go to church with. She has twin girls who will be 3 in September and a precious little boy who just turned 1. After many doctor visits and anxiety, she was finally told that she has thyroid cancer. I guess she found out back in April after having surgery on her thyroid. The prognosis is very good but it's still frightening to hear the word, "cancer."

One of our other friends, Kate, organized a girl's night out last night. It wasn't just a typical girl's night out though. This one was designed to try to take Holly's mind off the surgery. Of course, it's still on everyone's mind, but we went to eat at Outback and then went back to Kate's house for dessert & a movie. Actually, the movie turned into mostly talking but that was okay too. There were 10 of us at dinner and 8 of us went back to Kate's house with the number dwindling throughout the evening.

It was really nice to hang out with these girls from church. We're together off & on with our kids and husbands, but it was really nice to just be the girls last night.

Please say a prayer for Holly. She is anxious and worried as I think anyone would be. Please pray for her complete healing and pray for her peace. I hope that last night served as a fun evening that gave her some joy in the midst of a worrisome week.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Remember the Alamo!

*clarification: the date on this post is Thursday, but I actually posted in on Saturday, 8/4.*

The girls & I spent the last week in Atlanta with my parents while Chris was in San Antonio for business....business and eating at places like Casa Rio and Alamo Cafe! I was very jealous of him getting to spend time in S.A. as we both love that city, but I had a good time in Atlanta, too.
He took the camera with him when he left Monday, so I had to rely on Mom's camera after that. She tried emailing me all of the pictures but for some reason it wouldn't work. I was able to upload a couple of them onto my blog from her house and then just save the post as a draft, but I didn't have the patience to upload anymore. They have dial up *ugh* and it was driving me crazy to do pretty much anything on their computer. I didn't realize how dependent I'd gotten on DSL!

Here's a run down of our past week or so:

~Thursday, July 26th~Gracie had her birthday sleepover! Lots of fun for all involved. I'm glad it was only the 3 girls + Katie of course. They were all really good but for a house our size it was just the right number.

~Friday, July 27th~Gracie had her last day of art camp. She really enjoyed the whole week and said that next year she'd like to go full day. They will have a reception on August 18th for all the campers. I look forward to seeing her artwork on display. She was able to bring some of it home.

~Saturday, July 28th~Gracie's 7th birthday! (see post below for a letter to her) Katie made Gracie a plate for her birthday. Here she is explaining what everything is. We headed to Atlanta where we had a mini family birthday party. Just us & my parents. Mom cooked chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese and broccoli for dinner. Some of Gracie's favorites! She had already opened some gifts from us but opened a few more and opened gifts from Grammer & Pappy. I brought some cookies that I'd ordered from a bakery here. We ended up bringing a lot of the cake from her party also.

~Sunday, July 29th~We went to church with my parents where we actually got to see quite a few people we haven't seen in awhile. Two of those were Rob & Traci (Dunn) Browne with their children, one of whom is a newborn. They're not always even in the country as they serve as missionaries in Russia much of the time. Mom cooked a delicious roast dinner with potatoes & carrots. It's definitely one of my favorite meals!
That night, their church actually had a potluck dinner so I got to see some more people. Their church is over 1000 people, so they don't typically have potluck dinners churchwide but they did that night. It was well attended and there was plenty of food! I love a good potluck. They just feel so "homey" to me.

~Monday, July 30th~Chris & my dad left the house about 4:45 that morning to head to the airport. Sure am glad Dad doesn't mind getting up early! I did get up to see them off but then went back to bed. Mom & I and the girls went to a children's museum in downtown Atlanta. The girls had a lot of fun. I think I really like our "local" one better, but they had a really good time and there were different things to do than what we have here. The special exhibit was 'Sesame Street' so they got to sit in Big Bird's nest and learn Spanish color words and sit on the stoop that you typically think of when you think of 'Sesame Street.' I have a cute picture of it, but of course it was on Mom's camera.

We also went to The Varsity to eat lunch. I LOVE their 'pimento cheese burger' and fried apple pie. Needless to say, I am trying to eat much healthier this week.
Chris was excited that day because while he was in San Antonio, he got to go to the Dallas Cowboys' training camp. So convenient that he needed to go to S.A. on business during training camp, huh?!!?

~Tuesday, July 31st~Mom and the girls & I headed out to do a little shopping that morning. I was able to get some things at the Carter's outlet, Osh Kosh store and spend a store credit at Gymboree. Would have been smarter to wait until Thursday which started the tax free weekend, but that would have made too much sense so of course I didn't. HA!
After Chris' classes that day, he drove over to Uvalde, TX which is where we lived before we lived here. He was able to eat & visit with 3 families from the church who were, and still are, special to us. He took pictures of the new church building, our old house and the school where I taught. That seems like AGES ago! Gracie was born in Uvalde and we moved from there when she was about 9 months old.

I had Gracie's 7 year pictures taken at MasterPortrait. They turned out pretty well. She looked precious but her glasses needed to be pushed up in some of them. I keep wanting to reach through the picture and push them up! LOL They have really fast service so the album & extra prints were already here at the house when we got home yesterday and they actually turned out better than I thought they were going to from the proofing session. I hope to have Brett take some soon too.

~Wednesday, August 1~We went to a really neat shopping area that morning & early afternoon. It had neat stores like Williams Sonoma & Pottery Barn Kids. It was all outside and very pretty. "Fancy-Schmancy" you might say. We don't have such stores in our little town, so it's always fun to look when we get near one. Mom bought some cedar planks to use when grilling. There were 4 in a package so we split them up. I'm excited to grill some salmon on them!
We ate lunch at Jason's Deli then picked up Pappy at work and headed downtown to go to The Coca Cola museum. I had been to the old one years ago, but this one has just opened up in the last year or so. It is really neat and definitely something you should do if you're ever in Atlanta.
They have a couple of short videos and one of them is really, really neat! It's 3-D and the seats move and you get sprayed with water. At one time, these dragonflies are flying all around and it looks like they're flying right into your face because it's 3-D. Just when you feel like they're going to hit you, this thing jabs you HARD in your back! Quite interactive and yes, I jumped! The girls liked getting to "meet" the Coca Cola polar bear (again....there's a cute picture on Mom's camera!) and I enjoyed the last part where you get to drink as much of any Coke product as you want! diet Coke was my choice of course!
We went to a food court at a mall for dinner where I had to run into JCPenney's & buy Katie a new shirt before we could go to church. I didn't realize we weren't going back home before church so I hadn't brought extra clothes and Katie had somehow managed to get a little bit of everything on the front of her shirt throughout the day! She was really dirty!
~Thursday, August 2nd~We ran some errands that morning then went over to Pappy's work to see some of the people he works with. After we left him, we went to Garden Ridge-yet another store we don't have around here. It is a fun store to get lost in! We ate lunch at Steak 'n Shake then headed home for Katie to take a nap. Trust me, she needed it! She was quite grouchy at different times throughout the week! Still precious, but grouchy nonetheless. I asked Mom what I was going to do and she basically said keep doing what I'm doing and one day it'll click. *sigh* I hope so because she is pushing & testing each day. I remember Gracie went through a really bad patch around this age but it was just after Katie was born so we attributed it to that. Maybe it was just the age?!?! Anyway.......
~Friday, August 3rd~Mom & Dad left early this morning to start out on the "longest garage sale in the world." Yes, I'm serious. I guess it runs through Tennessee & Kentucky & probably part of Georgia. Mom has 2 booths in an antique mall so she was anxious to add treasures to her collection so that she can turn around and sell them to someone else who wants them! The girls & I got up quite a bit later and packed up and headed down to the airport to pick up Chris. They were very excited to see him-me too of course! He doesn't travel out of town for business much so it's weird when he does. Definitely not something we're used to. I'm glad we were able to stay with my parents. It made the week nicer.
We stopped for lunch then headed home. We stopped to visit with Caroline's family for a little bit. She had just been extubated so we didn't get a chance to actually see her (the girls weren't planning to go in of course) but we visited with her Mommy in the hallway outside the PICU for a few minutes. I went to the movies late last night with a couple of friends. Today Chris worked in the yard and the girls & I went out for a bit. We saw Gracie's beloved P.E. coach at the mall and she was very excited to get a hug from him! We all 4 went to Wal Mart to grocery shop later in the day. Honestly, I think next time I'll leave them all home and go by myself! LOL I accused Chris of acting the way he was so that he wouldn't have to come with me again. He didn't deny it! Men, right?!!? LOL
Tomorrow is church then Chris will go to "real" work Monday. 2 weeks from Monday and my baby will start 2nd grade!!!!!!